India bans Chinese apps over security concerns
India is Tik Tok largest international market, accounting for 30 percent of the app´s downloads
The right-wing Government of India Monday announced that it is banning 59 Chinese apps that it considers "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity" of the country, as well as the damaging to the "security of the state and the public order."
Although the press release does not say the particular reason for the ban is the Chinese government nor any of its tech companies, the prohibition includes Chinese owned apps such as the video platform TikTok, the browser UC Browser, file sharing app ShareIt as well as social media platforms Helo and Likee.
Some local media outlets claim that these apps, alongside the video chat app Bigo Live are among the most popular, as many of them have Indian creators for whom this is their only source of income. Particularly Tik Tok is estimated to have over 10 million active users in the country.
Besides, India is Tik Tok's most significant international market, accounting for 30 percent of the app's downloads.
The decision comes as a further escalation amid the tensions over the Galwan Valley clashes at the border on June 15, which killed 20 Indian soldiers.
The treasurer of the Indian National Congress Ahmed Patel, following the announcement, published on its Twitter account that he "welcomes the decision to ban Chinese apps" and added that "in light of the grave intrusion of our territory and the unprovoked attack on our armed forces by the Chinese army, we expect our government to take more substantial and effective measures."
Despite this, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has said that "both sides agree to resolve this matter through dialogue and consultation and make efforts to ease the situation" Indian authorities, in the aftermath of the clashes, ordered state-run telecoms companies as well as other private enterprises, to ban all the Chinese deals and equipment.
"The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users'' data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India," explains the press release published by the government.