China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) reportedly found a further 43 Chinese apps guilty of illegally handling user data including contact lists and location information, and ordered their parent companies to make amendments by next week.

In a statement viewed by Reuters, MIIT decreed the 43 apps had illegally transferred user data while also harassing the customers with pop-up windows. Among the list are Tencent’s WeChat, an e-reading service owned by Alibaba and video streaming platform iQIYI.

The owners of the apps were ordered to rectify the issues by 25 August or be subject to punishment with relevant laws and regulations.

MIIT’s rebuke comes as the country continues to ramp regulatory scrutiny of the technology industry, putting a particular focus on how companies in the sector approach privacy and user data.

This week, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) published new draft regulations for the internet sector to prevent unfair competition.

Chinese apps have also been under the spotlight in India over concerns about user data collection.

In 2020, India’s government banned access to more than 150 apps, including a number of Tencent titles.