India bans TikTok, WeChat and dozens more Chinese apps

India bans TikTok, WeChat and dozens more Chinese apps

Original story: On Monday (June 29) the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps across Google Play Store and Apple App Store, claiming that they compromised user privacy and data.

The statement said the move was taken after several complaints were received by the ministry alleging theft of users' data and violations of user privacy. "This following an announcement from the country's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, that said these apps were "... engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public order".

An anti-China sentiment has been gaining mindshare in India in recent weeks ever since more than 20 Indian soldiers were killed over a clash in the Himalayas earlier this month.

Tarun Pathak, an analyst at research firm Counterpoint, said the order would impact roughly one in three smartphone users in India.

Among other apps that have been banned are Tencent's WeChat, which has been downloaded more than 100 million times on Google's Android, Alibaba's UC Browser and two of Xiaomi's apps.

Upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the government has chose to disallow the usage of certain apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices. The data has been accessed and profiled by the "elements hostile to national security and defense", the ministry added.

"The government of India has made a decision to disallow the usage of certain apps".

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps.

It's unclear what exactly the "ban" means and whether mobile operating system makers, and internet service providers are expected to comply. Notably, when TikTok app was blocked in India for a week in 2019, ByteDance had said in a court filing that it was losing more than $5,00,000 (9Rs 3.7 Crore) a day in the nation.

The list of apps that the central government has banned.