Citing activities said to endanger India’s sovereignty, defense and security, New Delhi has banned 59 apps linked to China or Chinese companies, sources in the Indian capital say.
The decision by India was announced following another difficult week for the two Asian superpowers as tensions remain high following clashes in the Ladakh region of the Himalayas on June 15th.
The clashes left 20 Indian troops dead. An unconfirmed number of Chinese troops are also thought to have been killed, with some reports putting the number as high as 40.
It is understood the apps to be banned in India include the popular TikTok, WeChat, and UC Browser apps.
E-commerce apps including Shein and Club Factory have also been included in the ban according to an Indian government statement.
“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 statement said.
In recent months, even prior to the most recent clashes with Chinese forces, there have been increasing worries in India about data security of its almost 1.4 billion population.
Safeguarding the online security of the world’s biggest democracy has thus been seen as a national security issue, and has resulted in mounting concerns over state sovereignty and possible foreign interference.
As a result, the defense of India was “a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the statement went on to say.