India’s Ministry of Information and Technology (IT Ministry) has barred 59 extremely popular apps with Chinese connections including viral sensation Tiktok, UC Brower and Camscanner which is extensively used by professionals.
ByteDance’s video-sharing social media platform Tiktok has a significant fan following in India with more than 200 million monthly active users and nearly 400 million installed users.
The Indian IT Ministry has cited that the ban is a result of these apps engaging in activities that are “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the state and public order.” Rising border tensions between the two nations as well as an exhaustive request from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre citing the integrity of these apps are also considered as factors behind the ban.
Government Bans 59 mobile apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order#59Chinese
Read here: https://t.co/aKgmnAglOs pic.twitter.com/LqgLFHkYuk
— PIB India (@PIB_India) June 29, 2020
The Ministry stated that it received several criticisms from various sources the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and privately transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers at locations outside India.
“The compilation of these data, it’s 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 ministry further said in a statement.
The move is expected to have great ramifications across the nation as most of these Apps have become an inevitable part of the Indian community. Xiaomi which has been by far the largest mobile phone seller in India in the recent past bundles several of these banned apps as bloatware on the new phones it sells in the country.
Another major victim of this ban is Bytedance’s TikTok which credits India for its meteoric rise across the globe. According to a recent report, India has been the biggest driver of TikTok installs with 611 million downloads contributing to 30.3% of the overall installations worldwide. China and the US are ranked second and third with 196.6 million and 165 million downloads respectively.
Bytedance which owns TikTok had leveraged the app’s rising popularity to surpass a valuation of $100 billion in private markets.