On Monday June 29th, the Indian Ministry of Information technology announced the banning of over a dozen Chinese-created apps. Amongst these apps are Tik Tok and WeChat.
An official statement released by the Ministry identified these apps as “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”. 59 programs were prohibited in the announcement.
Authorities explained that this action was taken due to recieveing several complaints from numerous sources regarding the protection of user information in these apps. Users claimed that the programs were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner”. The statement concluded by stating that the priority was to the security in the nation.
This new measure has received vast support from the government and the population. Sanjay Dhatre, the Minister of state for HRD, Communications, Electronics and IT, publically favoured the decision and tweeted “This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian”.
This is not the first time that Chinese companies such as ByteDance, the owners of Tik Tok, have received accusations stating that they were strongly linked to the Chinese government. Many nations, such as the United States, have commenced to further investigate the capabilities of the company and the level of threat they pose to a government.
This announcement contributes to the rise of tension between China and India. Despite numerous attempts to decrease the escalation after the border clash in the Ladakh territory, both nations continue to dispute with each other.
Recently there has been a wave of hostility amongst the Indian community against China that has triggered anti-Beijing movements such as a boycott of Chinese products. This new measure further builds the image of China as a target and threat throughout the population.