A day after the Indian government ordered a ban on 59 Chinese mobile apps over security reasons amid the India-China border tension, the popular video app TikTok has been removed from Android's Play Store and Apple store. The popular Chinese app has over 120 million active users, mostly those in the 20s, in India alone.
Other popular Chinese apps that have been banned in India include Shareit, UC Browser, Clean-master, Shein, Likee, Club Factory, Mi Video Call- Xiaomi, CamScanner, among others. These apps have been banned in both mobile and non-mobile internet-enabled devices.
In a notification issued on Monday, the Ministry of Information Technology said it has banned 59 mobile apps, which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence, security of the state and public order.
The government said it took this action to safeguard the public safety and to protect the sovereignty and integrity of India. "This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace," the release said.
The ministry said it has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India.
"The compilation of these data, mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence 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," it said.
The development comes in the wake of heightened tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) after the Galwan Valley clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a pre-meditated and planned attack by Chinese soldiers on June 15. Several Chinese soldiers were also killed in the clash. This was the biggest military confrontation in over five decades which has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff between the two countries.