The government of India has decided to ban 59 apps of Chinese origin as border tensions simmer in Ladakh after a violent, fatal face-off between the Indian and Chinese armies. The list of apps banned by the government includes TikTok, which is extremely popular.
The government announced the ban on the 59 Chinese apps (full list below) Monday night. The government said these apps were engaged in activities that were prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity, and defense of India.
A government press release announcing the ban stated: “The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps since in view of the information available they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of a state and public order”.
The press release further said that the Ministry of Information Technology has received “many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding the security of data and risk to privacy relating to the operation of certain apps”.
“The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding the security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues,” the press release mentioned. List of Chinese app
It further says that the move to ban these Chinese apps move will “safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users”. This decision is a targeted move to ensure the safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace, it said.ADVERTISEMENT
Chinese apps’ popularity deteriorated after Galwan clash
Earlier this month, data from the Finland-based mobile-ranking platform, AppFollow, indicated that applications like TikTok have borne the brunt of Indian anger over Ladakh tensions. List of Chinese app
The popular short-form video app was ranked 5 in top-ten free applications on Apple’s platform in India before the May 5 scuffle between Indian and Chinese troops.
A month later, TikTok slipped down to number 10 on App Store.
Among Android users, the same Chinese application dropped from number 3 to number 5 in India ranking.
But it still remained on the list of top-ten popular apps in India.
India not the only country to act against Chinese apps
The move to ban these Chinese apps predates violent faceoff at LAC in Ladakh. The government had issued an advisory on April 16 in this regard in the wake of security concerns over zoom meetings.
India is not the only country to act against Chinese apps citing privacy and cyber security issues. Taiwan has banned some Chinese apps. So has Germany including zoom.
Earlier, the US national security advisor Robert O’Brian had said all Chinese apps function as arms of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to further its ideological and geopolitical agendas.
The move was speeden up after June 15 clashes between Indian and Chinese troops.
Popular among youngsters, TikTok has the maximum number of users in India, followed by China and the US.
TikTok crossed the 2 billion mark soon after surpassing the 1.5 billion mark in the first quarter of 2020. Out of the 2 billion, India turned out to be the biggest driver with over 611 million downloads.
According to the report by Sensor Tower, TikTok’s surge in popularity was due to the coronavirus pandemic. People found TikTok to be most entertaining and engaging in quarantine.
Here’s a list of the apps that have been banned by the government: