Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India words in a statement
Monday that they have received many complaints about the misuse and transmission of user data by several mobile applications to servers outside India.
“The compilation of these data, their mining and profiling by elements that are hostile to India’s national security and defense, which ultimately has an impact on India’s sovereignty and integrity, is a very deep problem and immediate attention requires emergency action,” the ministry said , the list of 59 applications includes many famous Chinese which will be subject to a ban.
While the Indian government’s statement did not name China, the ban came as military tensions between the two countries continued to increase following deadly border clashes earlier this month that killed at least 20 Indian troops. Many Indians call for a boycott of Chinese goods and services, especially from China’s dominant technology industry.
“There is a strong choir in the public sphere to take decisive action against applications that undermine the sovereignty of India and the privacy of our citizens,” the government added. Other popular Chinese applications on the list include the video game Clash of Kings, WeChat messaging application, Weibo social network, and CamScanner photo application.
TikTok, a very popular video platform owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance, has an estimated 120 million users in India, making the country one of its biggest markets.
Building local management teams in countries like India has been “crucial to our global success,” TikTok spokesman said in a statement.
“The ByteDance team of around 2,000 employees in India is committed to working with the government to show our dedication to user security and our commitment to the country as a whole,” the statement said.
This is not the first time TikTok has experienced problems with the Indian government. The application was briefly blocked in India last year after a court ruled that it could expose children to sexual predators, pornography and cyberbullying. This application was reactivated a week later after successfully appealing the court’s decision.
While India’s diplomatic tensions with China are starting to have a major impact on business and technology, complete decoupling may be easier said than done. China dominates the huge internet market in India – the second largest in the world, with nearly 600 million users – both in hardware and software. Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus account for
more than half of India smartphone market
, according to industry figures, and the Chinese technology giant Alibaba (BABA)
and Tencent (TCEHY)
is a major investor in some of the most valuable startups in the country.
Even so, the ban will be “a blow to the Chinese application industry which has lost a strong installed base outside its home country,” according to
to the Canalys research company.