After a border clash between India and China, the Indian government started banning Chinese apps, including popular ones like TikTok and WeChat saying the apps were prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of the country.
In an order issued under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, the Ministry of Information Technology said it has decided to block 59 apps in view of the potential threats.
The mass removal of apps is first of a kind in India which followed after a border clash resulting in the death of 20 Indian soldiers, an incident that further added fuel to the anti-China sentiments.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology calls it as a matter of deep and immediate concern requiring emergency measures, and further accuses the apps for collectively breaching the privacy of Indian users and mining their data, which impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India as per the Ministry. This decision has particularly been a blow to TikTok which was popular among Indian youth with over 200m users, and also underscores that India has been the greatest market for some of the Chinese social media companies. Further, Indian officials have said of barring many state-run telecommunication companies from purchasing any China-based companies such as Huawei and ZTE Corp.