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India Bans Chinese Apps Including TikTok

The tensions between India and China has spilled over into the tech sector after India banned a number of Chinese apps, including TikTok.

The Indian ban on Chinese apps comes amid escalating tensions between the two countries, after military forces of both countries clashed along the Sino-Indian border.

Earlier this month, fighting between the two nations in the region resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers (including an officer). China claims of its 43 soldiers were hurt.

Chinese ban

The deteriorating relationship between the two countries has seen India banning ‘malicious’ apps, saying they pose a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.”

According to a statement from India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the country has banned 59 apps “since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

Essentially, the Indian authorities said they had received many complaints about the misuse and transmission of user data to servers outside India.

“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 ministry said.

“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,” it said.

It then listed 59 apps (mostly Chinese) including TikTok, Clash of Kings (gaming app), WeChat (messaging), Weibo (social networking) and Baidu Translate.

India is TikTok’s biggest foreign market, with an estimated 120 million users.

Earlier this year, researchers at security firm Check Point alerted TikTok’s developer (ByteDance) after they found multiple issues, all ripe for exploitation by hackers.

The security flaws on the TikTok video-sharing platform have been fixed, but they could have allowed hackers to add or delete videos, change privacy settings and steal personal data.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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