India bans TikTok and 58 other apps as tensions with China escalate

Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology stands in the statement On Monday, it received many complaints about the misuse and transfer of user data by some mobile apps to servers outside India.

“The collection of this data, its undermining and profiling of elements hostile to India’s national security and defense, which ultimately undermines India’s sovereignty and integrity, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern requiring urgent action,” he said, listing 59 applications, including many prominent Chinese those that will be subject to prohibition.

Although China was not mentioned by name in a statement from the Indian government, the ban comes as military tensions between the two countries continue to escalate following deadly border clashes earlier this month that killed at least 20 Indian soldiers. Many Indians have called for a boycott of Chinese goods and services, especially from the Chinese technology industry that dominates.

“There was a strong assembly in the public space to take strict action against applications that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens,” the government added. Other popular Chinese apps on the list include the video game Clash of Kings, the WeChat messaging app, the Weibo social network, and the CamScanner photo app.

TikTok, an extremely popular video platform owned by Chinese technology giant Bytedance, has about 120 million users in India, making the country one of the largest markets. The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
This is not the first time that TikTok has encountered problems with the Indian government. The app was briefly blocked in India last year after a court ruled it could expose children to sexual predators, pornography and abuse. The application was returned a week later after she successfully appealed the court’s decision.
As Indian diplomatic tensions with China begin to have effects on business and technology, a complete separation may be easier than done. China dominates India’s massive internet market – the world’s second largest market, with close to 600 million users – in both hardware and software. Chinese companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus account for more than half of India smartphone market, according to data from industry and Chinese technology giants Alibi (BABA) and Tencent (TCEHY) they are major investors in some of the most respected startups in the country.
Nevertheless, the ban will be “a blow to the Chinese application industry, which is losing a strong installed base outside its home country.” per research firm Canalys.
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