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Why TikTok and other 58 Chinese apps were banned from Android, iPhones

The Ministry of Electronics and IT didn't give India-China border dispute as a reason for banning these China-based applications.

Chinese apps banned.
Chinese apps banned. (HT Tech)

If you have been surfing the web all night long or checked out your social media accounts yesterday night, by now you must be aware that the Indian government has banned 59 apps across Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The list not just includes some big names like UC Browser, TikTok, CamScanner among others but apps across genres - games, productivity, media, entertainment and more. And as the release from the Ministry of Electronics and IT strongly suggests, these won’t be available to use in near future. We have already listed the entire set of 59 apps along with some alternatives to popular ones so make sure you check that out.

Also read: Govt bans 59 Chinese apps: Here are the social apps you need to uninstall

Interestingly, in the release, the Ministry of Electronics and IT didn't give India-China border dispute as a reason for banning these China-based applications. It was because of ‘Privacy’ and users’ data security concerns. As per the government of India, these 59 apps are “engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.” The government thinks that apps like TikTok, UC browser, Shareit, WeChat, Clash of Kings and more pose a threat to the data of 130 crore India.

Also read: India bans 59 Chinese apps: Top alternatives to TikTok, ES File Explorer and CamScanner

The government, indicating that this was not a sudden decision, added that it 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. This also raises questions on the user data and privacy. It also mentioned how the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, ministry, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) and millions of users in India have been complaining about these apps lately.

“On the basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices. These apps are listed in the attached appendix,” adds the release.