Ministry adds dozens of apps to blacklist

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 August, 2016, 1:46am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 June, 2017, 12:53pm

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has blacklisted 32 apps, deeming them malicious or a security threat to users, the ministry said yesterday.

They included five third-party apps from Baidu, one from Xiaomi and one from consumer electronics company Meizu.

Most of the apps were that allegedly bundled unrelated software that users did not ask to download, according to a notice posted on the ministry’s website.

“I’m surprised,” said Lin Yun, a smartphone user in Beijing. “I had faith in the big names, especially Baidu and Xiaomi. They have many security experts and promise only ‘green apps’ in their stores. I am too young, too naive,” she said.

Baidu, Xiaomi and Meizu could not be reached for comment.

Most of the blacklisted software ran on the Android smartphone platform.

The ministry releases a list of apps that have fallen under suspicion every three months. It asks the app developers to correct problems that have been flagged up, and failure to do results in a ban.

Last year more than 3,000 apps were removed, mostly because they contained porn.

Internet authorities are tightening their grip on the rapidly growing app market in other ways. Under new rules from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), app providers on the mainland must adopt real-name registration for users and keep their user activity logs for 60 days.

The administration said the regulation, which took effect last Monday, was introduced to curb the dissemination of “illegal information” and violations of users’ rights through mobile apps.

“Lawbreakers exploit a handful of apps to disseminate violent, terrorist, obscene and pornographic information and rumours against the law,” an unnamed CAC official said.