The move is part of a retaliation process after the Indian and Chinese military started conflicts earlier this month.
The Indian government banned nearly 60 Chinese mobile apps on Monday, including TikTok, citing national security concerns, after a deadly shock between both armed forces, which raised tension between the two countries to the highest level in decades.
The fighting two weeks ago along the disputed border between the two most populous countries in the world left 20 Indian soldiers dead and an unknown number of Chinese victims.
India has promised to retaliate, however its military and economic power is far behind China. The options are limited.
Chinese telecommunications and social media companies are eyeing the Indian market due to its enormous potential. About 50% of India’s 1.3 billion citizens are online, they are recurring users of this kind of apps. Analysts even claim that a third of global TikTok users are based in India.
In addition to TikTok, the popular video sharing social networking platform, banned apps include WeChat, UC Browser, Shareit and Baidu Map.
Chinese applications were “stealing and illegally transmitting user data in an unauthorized manner to servers that have locations outside India,” India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement on Monday.
“The compilation of this data, its exploitation and profiling by elements hostile to India’s national security and defense, end up clashing with India’s sovereignty and integrity, it is a matter of deep and immediate concern, which requires emergency measures” says the statement.
The Chinese government and TikTok have not commented on the change yet.
This month, border violence had its worst record in more than 50 years. India blamed China for causing the conflict by invading the territory it claims to have (in the Himalayan mountain range). China defends exactly the opposite, that is, that the Indian troops invaded first.
The situation remains tense for both countries with nuclear weapons, with an increase in troops on both sides of the border.
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