Jun 29, 2020 - Technology

Indian government bans 59 Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok

Rickshaw driver wearing tiktok shirt
Rickshaw driver in New Delhi wearing a TikTok sweatshirt. Photo: Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Indian government announced Monday it would ban 59 apps developed by Chinese firms, citing national security and privacy concerns.

Why it matters: The applications blocked include ByteDance’s TikTok, a massively popular short-form video app that has come under scrutiny in the U.S. and elsewhere amid growing concerns about Chinese technological threats. India is TikTok's largest market, according to TechCrunch.

The big picture: The decision comes amid heightened tensions between the two Asian giants, after 20 Indian army troops were killed in a violent clash with Chinese forces in a disputed border region high in the Himalayas.

What the Indian government is saying:

  • "The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside 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."

Go deeper: Defense Department produces list of Chinese military-linked companies

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