India Bans TikTok, Dozens More China-Linked Apps, Citing Security Concerns

Yolanda Curtis
June 29, 2020

India is TikTok's largest market, according to TechCrunch.

The 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 chose to block 59 apps since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

India's decision comes as its troops are involved in a tense standoff with Chinese soldiers in eastern Ladakh in the Himalayas that started last month.

India on Monday banned 59 Chinese mobile apps, including the wildly popular TikTok and WeChat, over national security and privacy concerns just weeks after a deadly Himalayan border clash between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

India's Ministry of Information Technology said it was banning the 59 Chinese apps after receiving "many complaints from various sources" about apps that were "stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorised manner".

The ban applies to both "mobile and non-mobile internet enabled devices". "This decision is a targeted move to ensure the safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace".

In a short period of time the app had become such an integral part of Indian popular culture that Yami Gautam, one of the female leads of 2019 Bollywood box office smash "Bala", played a TikTok star.

They added that compilation, mining and platforming of this data was "a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures".

It was banned briefly a year ago after concerns were raised about the app being used to distribute pornography.

The ban comes at a time when anti-China sentiments in India are rising in the wake of the border clash between the two nations.

While India did not point directly at China in the ministry's comments on the ban, the overwhelming majority of the outlawed applications are of Chinese origin.

New Delhi has accused China of intruding into its territory in the region, a charge Beijing has denied.

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