India bans TikTok, UC Browser and 57 other Chinese apps

India bans Tik Tok, UC Browser and 57 other Chinese apps
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Amid growing tensions with China, the Indian government on Monday banned 59 mobile applications with Chinese links including TikTok, SHAREiT, UC Browser and others.

The Centre termed these apps as prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and national security.

The ban, which comes in the backdrop of current stand-off along the Line of Actual control in Ladakh with Chinese troops, also includes WeChat and Bigo Live.

The list of apps that have been banned also include Helo, Likee, Cam Scanner, Vigo Video, Mi Video Call Xiaomi, Clash of Kings as well as e-commerce platforms Club Factory and Shein.

This marks the largest sweep against the Chinese technology companies.

In an official statement, the IT Ministry said it 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 unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India".

"The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India," the statement said.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs, has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps, the statement said, adding that there has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against apps that harm India's sovereignty as well as the privacy of citizens.

"There have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country," the statement said.

Comments from these companies could not be immediately obtained.

The statement added that 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 cyberspace".

Earlier, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale had called for a ban on TikTok to impact China economically, saying 15 crore Indians use the Chinese app due to which the neighbouring country makes crores in profit. His remarks came after 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in a violent clash with the Chinese Army in Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020.

TikTok has over 200 million users in India.

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