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India-China tension escalation: India puts a ban on Chinese apps

16:09 | 30/06/2020

The Indian government has issued a ban on TikTok and dozens of Chinese-made applications, considering it a danger to the country.

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india china tension escalation india puts a ban on chinese apps
The Indian government has issued a ban on TikTok and dozens of Chinese-made applications

The BBC reported that: in a statement, the Indian Government said the applications "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

In total, 59 different applications have been banned - including the popular messaging app WeChat and social network Tik Tok. The move comes after weeks of escalating tensions along the disputed border between the two countries.

The Indian Ministry of Information Technology said it had banned 59 Chinese applications after receiving "many complaints from various sources" about applications "stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorised manner".

According to the ministry, it has received complaints from various sources about applications on several platforms being used to steal and transfer user data to unauthorized servers outside of India.

"The compilation of these data, its 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," the Ministry stated.

The parent company of TikTok application, ByteDance, is based in Beijing and this application became popular in the Chinese market before spreading around the world.

When it became popular, the application faced charges related to the Chinese state and sent user data to China. The most powerful critics came from the US, including some US senators who called for an investigation of the ByteDance Company.

Accordingly, these applications will be banned on both devices using mobile and non-mobile Internet.

According to experts, India's move will deal a heavy blow to Beijing's Digital Silk Road ambition and cost millions of dollars to Chinese companies. It could also pave the way for other countries to boycott Chinese applications.

The incident comes as India and China have been tense after a bloody clash between soldiers of the two countries in the Galwan valley in Ladakh. In the incident, India said it had 20 soldiers killed and 76 injured. China has yet to release its casualties figures.

The June 15 clash was the deadliest clash between the two sides in 45 years. Under an agreement signed in 1996, neither China nor India were allowed to bring guns or explosives into the border areas. Both countries blamed each other for the scuffle in the Galwan valley.

According to Reuters, the new ban could be a major obstacle for Chinese companies in India, such as Bytedance, which is betting big on one of the world's largest network services markets.

Bytedance (based in Beijing) plans to invest $ 1 billion in India, opening a local data center and recently aggressively recruiting personnel in this South Asian country.

According to the app analysis firm Sensor Tower, India is the country with the largest number of TikTok applications installed in the world, accounting for 611 million lifetime downloads (equivalent to 30.3% of total downloads).

Other popular Chinese apps that are banned include Tencent's WeChat, Alibaba's UC Browser and two other Xiaomi phone apps. To date, WeChat has over 100 million downloads on Google's Android platform in India.

India's new app ‘Remove Chinese apps’ got over 5 million downloads in just over 2 weeks

The ongoing border dispute further aggravates the anti-Chinese sentiments of the Indian people. This makes a new application of the country's "Remove China Apps" has achieved more than 5 million downloads in just over 2 weeks since its launch.

india china tension escalation india puts a ban on chinese apps
The number of downloading the "Removing China Apps" app has grown dramatically. (Image: Wikipedia, Youtube / AR UNBOX)

The Remove China Apps has gained immense popularity as people have been moving towards the anti-China sentiment. The app was uploaded by the developer ‘OneTouchAppLabs’ and it soon got over 5 million downloads on the Google Play Store. As the name suggests, the app basically allows users to uninstall any Chinese app from their Android phone. Although the app was removed from the Google Play Store, it has been instructed to download and use widely on Indian network.

Apart from Remove China Apps, Google Play Store also removed the Mitron app, which was a TikTok rival that saw a growth in the number of downloads amid anti-China movements. It is speculated that the app was removed as it didn't follow the Play Store's policies and violated them.

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