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India bans 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, citing national security threat

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In a historic move on Monday, Government of India banned 59 Chinese applications, including TikTok, Shareit, Mi Video call, Cam Scanner, WeChat. In a statement released by the government, it said that these apps “were prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.”

This order came amid increased tensions at the disputed India-China border. The ban covers a large variety of applications covering areas like ecommerce and gaming, social media, browsers, instant messaging and file sharing.

Indian Ministry of Information Technology said that the banning of these 59 apps linked to China was citing national security threat, post receiving “many complaints from various sources” about the apps “that were stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner.”

Sources reveal that MEITY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) has issued instructions to Google and Apple to remove these apps from their app stores. Telecom operators and internet service providers would also be instructed to block access and use of these banned applications on their networks.

MEITY said in a statement, “The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defense of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures.”

India is TikTok’s biggest market with over 120 million users. With gained popularity this app has regularly been accused of links to China and sharing users data with Chinese state. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is headquartered in Beijing. The app before becoming popular in international market was widely famous in China.

List of banned apps also include ecommerce apps like Shein, and Club Factory, microblogging platforms like Weibo, and strategy games like Clash of Kings and Alibaba’s UC Browser. Invoking its power under Section 69A of Information Technology Act the Ministry of India has taken this action.

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