Banned Apps in India You Can Unblock with a VPN

Banned Apps in India You Can Unblock with a VPN

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The Indian government has banned over 300 apps and online services over the past few years in response to security concerns due to alleged links with China.

Political tensions between the two superpowers began with border clashes in 2020, and have continued into the present day. They claim that the apps are a threat to both privacy and security, and could be “engaged in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of the country.”

Banned Indian apps include the likes of TikTok, while the most recent wave included the popular game Garena Free Fire. A VPN is one of the best methods to ensure that your data is safe and secure while unblocking multiple services with ease. We’ll take you through everything you need to know below.

Unblock your favorite apps & services with a secure VPN.

Overview of Banned Indian Apps & Services

India is one of the largest markets in terms of mobile app usage, while chat and social networking apps are widely popular. For example, it’s estimated that there are 750 million smartphone users in the country, with projections showing that number could pass 900 million by 2023

Statista has put together a helpful infographic that shows which app types have been banned in India since June 2020. 

Apps Banned In India by Statista

As you can see, tools and games make up almost half (47%) of the apps that have been banned in the country. Social apps are also significant, making up 18% in total.

Altogether, it makes for a varied list, but they all have something in common. Each has a link to China, and the ban has targeted apps produced by major technology companies such as Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group Holding, and NetEase.

We’ve listed a majority of the blocked apps and services below, in the order in which they were first removed. 

Social Media Apps Banned

A variety of popular social media and messaging apps have been blocked for users in India. 

  • TikTok – Possibly the best-known service to fall under the ban hammer, TikTok is a popular video-sharing platform. 
  • WeChat – WeChat was banned in India in June 2020. The app is mainly for online communications, ​​although it can also be used for payments. In a 2016 report looking at the privacy of messenger apps, compiled by rights activists Amnesty International, WeChat owner Tencent scored 0 out of 100. They noted: “Not only did it fail to adequately meet any of the criteria, but it was the only company which has not stated publicly that it will not grant government requests to access encrypted messages by building a ‘backdoor'”.
  • Helo – The ban caused Helo’s India head Rohan Mishra to quit the company within five months of joining.
  • Weibo – Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to have a Weibo account until tensions rose between the two countries. 

Gaming Apps Banned

India is a massive market for online gaming, often making up a significant portion of a player-base for popular titles. 

  • Garena Free Fire – 40 million of Garena Free Fire’s global monthly active users are based in India, according to stats obtained by TechCrunch
  • PUBG – Krafton, which originally owned the intellectual property rights to battle royale game PUBG, severed ties with Tencent to get around the ban in the region. Battlegrounds Mobile India was the final result, and is still available in the country.

Tool Apps Banned

The loss of gaming and social media apps is one thing, but blocking tools and payment platforms introduce a number of issues. 

  • Alipay – Alipay overtook PayPal as the world’s largest mobile payment platform in 2013, although it’s blocked for Indian users. 
  • AliExpress – Online retail service AliExpress has been blocked since November 2020.
  • Baidu – The equivalent of Google in China, Baidu offers a number of services, including search engines and maps. 

Full List of Apps Banned in India 

Here’s a full list of the various Chinese apps banned in India since 2020. 

Apps banned: June 2020

In June 2020, we saw the first wave of apps that were banned, including big names like TikTok and Weibo. In total, 58 apps were taken off the market. (It was also the same month in which a clash took place along the Sino-Indian border.)

  1. TikTok
  2. Shareit
  3. Likee
  4. Clash of Kings
  5. Club Factory
  6. Weibo
  7. WeChat
  8. DU battery saver
  9. Helo
  10. Kwai
  11. YouCam makeup
  12. Mi Community
  13. CM Browsers
  14. Virus Cleaner
  15. APUS Browser
  16. ROMWE
  17. Baidu map
  18. Newsdog
  19. Beauty Plus
  20. UC Browser
  21. UC News
  22. QQ Mail
  23. Shein
  24. Xender
  25. QQ Music
  26. QQ Newsfeed
  27. Bigo Live
  28. SelfieCity
  29. Mail Master

30. Parallel Space
31. Mi Video Call Xiaomi
32. WeSync
33. ES File Explorer
34. Viva Video QU Video Inc
35. Meitu
36. Vigo Video
37. New Video Status
38. DU Recorder
39. Vault-Hide
40. Cache Cleaner DU App studio
41. DU Cleaner
42. DU Browser
43. Hago Play With New Friends
44. Cam Scanner
45. Clean Master Cheetah Mobile
46. Wonder Camera
47. Photo Wonder
48. QQ Player
49. We Meet
50. Sweet Selfie
51. Baidu Translate
52. Vmate
53. QQ International
54. QQ Security Center
55. QQ Launcher
56. U Video
57. V fly Status Video
58. Mobile Legend

Apps banned: September 2020

It only took three months for a further 118 apps to be removed due to links with China. This time, the ban wave wasn’t announced to the public and included the likes of Baidu. 

1. Baidu
2. PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
3. PUBG MOBILE LITE
4. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
5. APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright
6. Cut Cut Cut Out & Photo Background Editor
7. APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart
8. Baidu Express Edition
9. FaceU Inspire your Beauty
10. ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals
11. CamCard Business Card Reader
12. CamCard Business
13. CamCard for Salesforce
14. CamOCR
15. InNote
16. VooV Meeting Tencent Video Conferencing
17. APUS Launcher-Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps
18. WeChat reading
19. Government WeChat
20. Small Q brush
21. Tencent Weiyun
22. Pitu
23. WeChat Work
24. Cyber Hunter
25. Cyber Hunter Lite
26. Knives Out-No rules, just fight!
27. Super Mecha Champions
28. LifeAfter
29. Dawn of Isles
30. Ludo World-Ludo Superstar
31. Chess Rush
32. Super Clean Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
33. APUS Security-Antivirus, Phone security, Cleaner
34. APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus
35. Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
36. Dank Tanks
37. Warpath
38. Game of Sultans
39. Gallery Vault Hide Pictures And Videos
40. Smart AppLock (App Protect)
41. Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
42. Hide App-Hide Application Icon
43. AppLock
44. AppLock Lite
45. Dual Space Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
46. ZAKZAK Pro Live chat & video chat online
47. ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app
48. Music Mp3 Player
49. Music Player Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
50. HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
51. Cleaner Phone Booster
52. Web Browser & Fast Explorer
53. Video Player All Format for Android
54. Photo Gallery HD & Editor
55. Photo Gallery & Album
56. Music Player Bass Booster Free Download
57. HD Camera Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama
58. HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera
59. Music Player MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
60. Gallery HD
61. Web Browser Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer

62. Web Browser Secure Explorer
63. Music player Audio Player
64. Video Player All Format HD Video Player
65. Lamour Love All Over The World
66. Amour- video chat & call all over the world.67. MV Master Make Your Status Video & Community
68. MV Master Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor
69. APUS Message Center-Intelligent management
70. LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers
71. Carrom Friends : Carrom Board & Pool Game-
72. Ludo All Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games
73. Bike Racing: Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
74. Rangers Of Oblivion: Online Action MMO RPG Game
75. Z Camera Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage
76. GO SMS Pro Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji
77. U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate
78. Ulike Define your selfie in trendy style
79. Tantan Date For Real
80. MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen our Live Chat Karen
81. Kitty Live Live Streaming & Video Live Chat
82. Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles
83. Alipay
84. AlipayHK
85. Mobile Taobao
86. Youku
87. Road of Kings- Endless Glory
88. Sina News
89. Netease News
90. Penguin FM
91. Murderous Pursuits
92. Tencent Watchlist 
93. Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese
94. HUYA LIVE Game Live Stream
95. Little Q Album
96. Fighting Landlords Free and happy Fighting Landlords
97. Hi Meitu
98. Mobile Legends: Pocket
99. VPN for TikTok
100. VPN for TikTok
101. Penguin E-sports Live assistant
102. Buy Cars
103. iPick
104. Beauty Camera Plus Sweet Camera & Face Selfie
105. Parallel Space Lite Dual App
106. “Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC
107. MARVEL Super War NetEase Games
108. AFK Arena
109. Creative Destruction NetEase Games
110. Crusaders of Light NetEase Games
111. Mafia City Yotta Games
112. Onmyoji NetEase Games
113. Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
114. Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang 
115. Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games
116. Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games
117. Soul Hunters
118. Rules of Survival

Apps banned: November 2020

Finally, another 43 apps were removed in November 2020, bringing the total to over 200. 

1. AliExpress
2. Alibaba Workbench
3. Adore App
4. Alipay Cashier
5. Lalamove India Delivery App
6. Drive with Lalamove India
7. AliSuppliers Mobile App
8. CamCard Business Card Reader
9. CamCard BCR (Western)
10. Soul- Follow the soul to find you
11. Chinese Social Free Online Dating Video App & Chat
12. Date in Asia Dating & Chat For Asian Singles
13. WeDate-Dating App
14. Free dating app-Singol, start your date!
15. Snack Video
16. TrulyChinese Chinese Dating App
17. TrulyAsian Asian Dating App
18. ChinaLove: dating app for Chinese singles
19. DateMyAge: Chat, Meet, Date Mature Singles Online
20. AsianDate: find Asian singles
21. FlirtWish: chat with singles
22. Guys Only Dating: Gay Chat

23. Tubit: Live Streams
24. WeWorkChina
25. First Love Live
26. Rela Lesbian Social Network
27. Cashier Wallet
28. MangoTV
29. MGTV-HunanTV official TV APP
30. WeTV TV version
31. WeTV Cdrama, Kdrama&More
32. WeTV Lite
33. Lucky Live-Live Video Streaming App
34. Taobao Live
35. DingTalk
36. Identity V
37. Isoland 2: Ashes of Time
38. BoxStar (Early Access)
39. Heroes Evolved
40. Happy Fish
41. Jellipop Match-Decorate your dream island
42. Munchkin Match: magic home building
43. Conquista Online II

Apps banned: February 2022

All was quiet until February 2022, which saw a further 54 apps removed from Indian stores. 

1. Garena Free Fire 
2. Beauty Camera Selfie Camera
3. Lica Cam selfie camera app
4. Music Player- Music.Mp3 Player
5. Voice Recorder & Voice Changer
6. Music Plus MP3 Player
7. Equalizer Pro Volume Booster & Bass Booster
8. Viva Video Editor Snack Video Maker with Music
9. Music Player Equalizer & MP3
10. Volume Booster Loud Speaker & Sound Booster
11. Music Player MP3 Player
12. CamCard for SalesForce Ent
13. Isoland 2: Ashes of Time Lite
14. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
15. APUS Security HD (Pad Version)
16. Parallel Space Lite 32 Support
17. Video Player Media All Format
18. Nice video baidu
19. Tencent Xriver
20. Onmyoji Chess
21. Onmyoji Arena
22. AppLock
23. Dual Space Lite Multiple Accounts & Clone App
24. Dual Space Pro Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
25. DualSpace Lite 32Bit Support
26. Dual Space 32Bit Support
27. Dual Space 64Bit Support

28. Dual Space Pro 32Bit Support
29. Conquer Online MMORPG Game
30. Conquer Online Il
31. Live Weather & Radar Alerts
32. Notes- Color Notepad, Notebook
33. MP3 Cutter Ringtone Maker & Audio Cutter
34. Equalizer & Bass Booster Music Volume EQ
35. Barcode Scanner QR Code Scan
36. Equalizer Bass Booster & Volume EQ & Virtualizer
37. EVE Echoes
38. Astracraft
39. UU Game Booster-network solution for high ping
40. Extraordinary Ones
41. Badlanders
42. Stick Fight: The Game Mobile
43. Twilight Pioneers
44. CuteU: Match With The World
45. Small World-Enjoy group chat and video chat
46. CuteU Pro
47. FancvU Video Chat & Meetup
48. Real: Go Live. Make Friends
49. MoonChat: Enjoy Video Chats
50. Real Lite -video to live!
51. Wink: Connect Now
52. FunChat Meet People Around You
53. FancyU pro Instant Meetup through Video chat!
54. Beauty Camera: Sweet Selfie HD

The Best VPNs for India

Luckily, it’s easy to access blocked services in India. A virtual private network (VPN) allows the user to mask their IP address by connecting to encrypted servers dotted around the world. 

You’ll be able to download and access any blocked apps and services, along with a host of additional entertainment options such as Netflix

We’d be wary when using free VPN apps, which often lack the speeds necessary for online gaming, or even watching videos. Then there’s the fact that many can’t be trusted with your personal data. 

Instead, we’d recommend the use of a premium VPN provider. We’ll list a trio of the best options for India below.

VPNLowest Price# of DevicesServer LocationsMoney-Back Guarantee
NordVPN$3.99/mo.66030 days
CyberGhost$2.29/mo.79145 days
IPVanish$3.75/mo.Unlimited5230 days

NordVPN

NordVPN is always a great choice if you’re in need of a capable provider with an extensive server network. At the current time of writing, NordVPN has 30 servers located in India, although you won’t be able to use them to access banned Chinese apps! 

Instead, we’d look to their 5,423 ultra-fast servers located in 60 countries, which are great for anything from online gaming to accessing streaming servers. NordVPN can also be trusted to keep your data safe, having taken part in numerous third-party audits with the likes of PricewaterhouseCoopers AG. 

CyberGhost

CyberGhost is another provider that benefits from a massive server network (7,600+), including 24 which are physically located in India. These can also be used for P2P purposes, as seen in the image below.

It’s perfect for gaming thanks to quick speeds and unlimited bandwidth, while you’ll also be able to unblock content libraries for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and plenty of other streaming platforms. You’ll also be able to unblock Hotstar whenever you’re out of the country. 

IPVanish

Last, but by no means least, IPVanish will unblock numerous apps and services, including many banned in India. They have a handful of servers found in the region, split across Mumbai and New Delhi. This is complemented by a further 1,900+ servers in 75+ different locations around the globe. 

It might not be the largest number, but IPVanish owns the entire server network with no outsourcing to third parties. This guarantees no network interference from outside influences or loss of their network to unwanted acquisitions or shutdowns.

Closing

The list of banned Indian apps continues to grow after a quiet spell in 2021, and a number of popular games and services will be gone for the foreseeable future. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more being blocked over the coming months. 

The dispute with China means little to the average user, although they’re likely to notice that many popular apps and services have disappeared. 

A VPN is one of the quickest ways to unblock almost anything and ensures that nobody will be able to scoop up your personal data in the process.

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