Following the guidelines laid down by the Indian government’s department of telecommunications, the Apple app store and Google play store have blocked the 59 Chinese apps in question, from their respective platforms.
However, if you already have these apps installed on your phone, you can still technically use them, despite of the ban. That being said, it’s unclear how long this “flying under the radar” would work, since the situation does not seem to be deescalating any time soon.
A Google spokesperson publicly confirmed this news by saying, “While we continue to review the interim orders from the Government of India, we have notified the affected developers and have temporarily blocked access to the apps that remained available on the Play Store in India.”
However, even before the aforementioned 59 apps were prohibited from Play Store and App store, some companies, like ByteDance voluntarily made their apps inaccessible to the Indian populace. ByteDance is the parent company of TikTok, the app that was probably affected the most by this ban spree. On the other hand, Kevin Mayer, the chief executive of TikTok tried to assure Indian lawmakers that the app was in compliance with Indian privacy and security requirements, even requesting a meeting with the various stakeholders.
To its users, the TikTok team has alerted that it is “currently in the process of complying with the government of India’s directive”, “ensuring this privacy and security of all our users in India remains our utmost priority.”
On 29th June, the Indian Government issued an order to block 59 Chinese apps. This decision was targeted to “ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.”
Interestingly, Weibo which is also called the “Local twitter of china” deleted Prime Minister Modi’s account today at the request of the Indian embassy.
Apart from TikTok, the ban extends to many other popular apps like CamScanner, WeChat and Xiaomi’s MI community, to name a few.