India bans TikTok, WeChat and dozens more Chinese apps

TikTok App on a Phone Screen

But, today the government increased the list and made a decision to ban a total of 59 apps, originated in China. This Ministry has also received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.

TikTok was already briefly banned in India over child safety concerns previous year, but after the company appealed, its app was allowed to be reinstated in the App Store and Google Play.

The National Security Council Secretariat had reportedly supported the advisory (sent out by intelligence agencies) and agreed these apps were a threat to India's security.

The IT ministry said it has received several complaints from various sources on misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms that steal and "surreptitiously" transmit users' data in an unauthorised manner to servers located outside the country. These include popular apps like TikTok, SHAREit, Mi Video Call, UC Browser and others.

India's government on Monday said it would block 59 mostly Chinese apps, including popular social platforms such as TikTok and Tencent's WeChat, in the latest economic repercussion to a deadly border clash this month.

Xiaomi's own video calling and chat application, Mi Video Call is one of the 59 apps banned by MEITY.

Indian government today announced the ban of 59 Chinese apps including TikTok and WeChat. Once again, we'll stick to our original recommendation of WhatsApp though, as the most widespread and well known application in this space, as it's nearly certain that the people you want to talk to also use it, so you don't have to convince them to download another app.

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

The report comes amid growing chorus from Indian activists to boycott Chinese products due to the border tensions between the two countries in Ladakh.

The Indian app economy is valuable to China with more than 800 million smartphone users eager and willing to lap up content on their devices.

The decision on the ban was taken following inputs from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (Ministry of Home Affairs), Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), public representatives and citizens.

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