Facing rising domestic pressure, the Indian government has blocked 59 apps owned by Chinese companies, including TikTok, WeChat, and Clash of Kings.
Things escalated between India and China, last weekend, after the death of at least 20 Indian soldiers in a border clash between the two nations. As a result, the Indian government has been facing a lot of domestic pressure to ban 59 Chinese-owned apps. Before then, India was the largest and fastest-growing market for one of these – TikTok.
The Indian government framed the move as protecting personal information from what it called “malicious apps,” that “harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of [its] citizens.”
“While the prime minister called for self-dependence recently, the idea would’ve been to build capability and not boycott products from India’s second-biggest trade partner,” Abhishek Baxi, a technology journalist, and digital consultant told BuzzFeed News. “While action against smartphone brands would be too much to handle, banning apps is a low-hanging fruit for political posturing.”
TikTok is not the only famous app being banned from India. WeChat, owned by Chinese conglomerate Tencent, mobile game Clash of Kings, and file-sharing app ShareIt are also being banned. However, neither Google nor Apple have yet confirmed that they will comply with the ban order. Technically, only they can actually remove the apps from their respective app stores.
Note that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is not part of the ban.
As of October 2019, Tiktok was used by an estimated 200 million people in India.
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