India recently banned TikTok, and dozens of other Chinese apps. Read on to know more…
After a deadly clash between Indian and Chinese army this month raised tensions to the highest level in decades — Indian government banned nearly 59 Chinese mobile apps including TikTok, citing national security concerns. In addition to TikTok, the popular video-sharing social networking platform, the banned apps include WeChat, UC Browser, Shareit and Baidu Map. Analysts say up to a third of TikTok’s global users are based in India. TikTok is one of the most downloaded phone apps in the world and has already entered more than 150 global markets, with India being one of its most active regions.
Ban on Chinese Apps
The Chinese apps were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India,” India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement Monday.
“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defense 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,” the statement added.
Cybersecurity analysts have warned in the past about the risks Chinese apps and telecom companies may pose, citing the country’s National Intelligence Law. The law holds Chinese companies legally responsible for providing access, cooperation or support for Chinese intelligence gathering.
Among the apps that India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT has ordered to ban include ByteDance’s TikTok, which counts India as its biggest overseas market; Community and Video Call apps from Xiaomi, which is the top smartphone vendor in India; two of Alibaba Group’s apps (UC Browser and UC News); Shareit; CM Browser, Club Factory, which claims to be India’s third-largest e-commerce firm; and ES File Explorer.
Here’s the complete list of the apps banned:
TikTok, Shareit, Kwai, UC Browser, Baidu map, Shein, Clash of Kings, DU battery saver, Helo, Likee, YouCam makeup, Mi Community, CM Browers, Virus Cleaner, APUS Browser, ROMWE, Club Factory, Newsdog, Beutry Plus, WeChat, UC News, QQ Mail, Weibo, Xender, QQ Music, QQ Newsfeed, Bigo Live, SelfieCity, Mail Master, Parallel Space, Mi Video Call – Xiaomi, WeSync, ES File Explorer, Viva Video – QU Video Inc, Meitu, Vigo Video, New Video Status, DU Recorder, Vault- Hide, Cache Cleaner DU App studio, DU Cleaner, DU Browser, Hago Play With New Friends, Cam Scanner, Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile, Wonder Camera, Photo Wonder, QQ Player, We Meet, Sweet Selfie, Baidu Translate, Vmate, QQ International, QQ Security Center, QQ Launcher, U Video, V fly Status Video, Mobile Legends, DU Privacy.
India’s announcement highlights how technology companies are increasingly becoming entangled in broader geopolitical disputes. In China, American platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Wikipedia and many others have long been banned.
The Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has been the subject of some of the greatest scrutiny, as American authorities push allies to ban the company from building wireless networks over claims it aids the Chinese state in cyberespionage. Huawei has denied the accusations.
The U.S. government is investigating TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, over national security concerns. In Europe, authorities are probing the company’s data-collection practices.
Internet researchers have long warned that competing national interests could lead to a more fractured internet, with people’s access to certain information and services limited by their governments.