India bans TikTok and 59 other Chinese apps from app stores

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Among other apps that have been banned are Tencent's WeChat, which has been downloaded more than 100 million times on Google's Android, Alibaba's UC Browser and two of Xiaomi's apps.

In May, India ranked as the top country for new TikTok users, accounting for 20% of the app's almost 112 million downloads around the world, according to Sensor Tower.

The central government banned 59 mostly-Chinese apps on Monday saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity, and defence of India.

Gandhi claimed that the company "continues to comply" with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and hasn't shared any user information of Indians with foreign governments, including that in China.

The Indian soldiers were killed in a brawl along the disputed border in northern Ladakh region on June 15 in the deadliest faceoff for nearly half a century between the two countries.

TikTok doesn't show up in app store search results
TikTok doesn't show up in app store search results

They added that compilation, mining and platforming of this data was "a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures". This was done by invoking Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, which empowers the government to block the apps which are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of the country, its defence, security of state and public order.

For several users, searching for TikTok on the Google Play leads to results that are showing either some clone apps or apps to download TikTok videos from unpopular developers. Thus Ministry has also received many representations raisig concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.

It's unclear what exactly the "ban" means and whether mobile operating system makers, and internet service providers are expected to comply.

Besides, many of these apps such as UC News and others have offices and employees in India, which can adversely affect scores of Indian employees whose jobs could be at stake.

While the government notice issuing the ban did not explicitly mention China by name, it is only Chinese-made apps that have been blacklisted.

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