Amid rising anti China sentiment in the country, Indian government has decided to ban 59 Chinese apps (for the lack of a better term) on grounds of violating the terms of usage, compromising users privacy, and being used as spyware or malware. And of course, no app speaks more about threat to privacy than Tiktok, which was the first to face the ban.
The apps that have been banned include the likes of WeChat, UC browser and of course, Tiktok. However, many like PUBG mobile, which is owned by Tencent, yet another Chinese company, have managed to evade the ban. This is because the apps were banned under suspicions of threat to user data, and not for being connected to mainland China. Which makes sense, for if someone wanted to protest against India, banning Reliance, a private company, wouldn’t really be the optimal way to go about it.
That being said, it is obvious that the deteriorating Indo-Chinese relationships played a huge role in this massive decision. China attacked Indian camps in Galwan valley on June 15th, martyring 20 Indian soldiers, which led to tension on both the border and the parliament. Ever since then, people have been veering off Chinese products, and calling for a full ban on any commerce with the country. In return, India reportedly killed over 40 Chinese military personnel.
Ravi Prashad Shankar, Electronics & Information Technology Minister of India, wrote a tweet, breaking out the news to the subcontinent.
For safety, security, defence, sovereignty & integrity of India and to protect data & privacy of people of India the Government has banned 59 mobile apps.
Jai Hind! 🇮🇳
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) June 29, 2020
The decision was taken after recommendations from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre and the Ministry of Home Affairs. TikTok, Club Factory, and UC Browser and other apps put together had more than 500 million monthly active users in May this year.
Last week, the government also made the mention of the “Country of Origin” mandatory for sellers listing their products in the Government e-Marketplace, yet another move to promote “Atmanirbharta” from Chinese products.
The list of apps that faced the ban include:
The announcement is sure to hit ByteDance, Tiktok’s parent company, right where it hurts, seeing how India was the largest market for the app.
This isn’t the first time Tiktok has attracted the attention of lawmakers for privacy concerns. U.S., the OG anti China country, has been on Tiktok’s tail from a long time now, putting various kinds of ban on the app. Until now, the war between China and U.S. had been exclusive. However, it looks like India is ready to take the charge in this fight.