Indian authorities banned dozens of mostly Chinese apps, including TikTok, WeChat, and UC Browser, saying they were "prejudicial" to India's defense, security, and public order. The move follows a deadly border clash.
Indian officials barred 59 mobile apps, most of them run by Chinese companies, on Monday, saying they were engaged in "activities" which were "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, security of state and public order."
The apps include 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 and UC News.
Apps like Mi Video Call Xiaomi, WeSync, ES File Explorer, Viva Video, QU Video Inc, DU CleanerDU Browser, Hago Play With New Friends, Cam Scanner, We Meet and Sweet Selfie were also banned.
The ban comes less than two weeks after a deadly border clash between Chinese and Indian troops, which saw at least 20 Indian soldiers lose their lives.
Concerns over data use
TikTok and WeChat are widely popular in India. However, WeChat — which now boasts close to 1.2 billion active monthly users — is also known for being strictly monitored by the Chinese authorities.
Ministry of Information Technology took the step "in view of the emergent nature of threats," officials said.
"The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps ... for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India," the officials were quoted as saying by the Times of India.
They added that compilation, mining and platforming of this data was "a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures."
dj/rs (AFP, Reuters)