India goes for a ‘Digital Surgical Strike’ on China; TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps banned
The Indian government on Monday announced a ban on 59 Chinese Mobile Apps which include TikTok, SHAREit, CamScanner, Clean Master- Cheetah Mobile, etc. This move was taken amidst serious tensions across the Indo-China border where a series of retaliations have taken place in the last couple of weeks. This order has been sanctioned by the Ministry of Electronics ,which stated that these apps are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order”. Majority of these apps were in the scrutiny of intelligence agencies over privacy concerns.
The apps that have been banned, have been listed in the Appendix released by the Ministry of Electronics, Government of India.
The Information Technology Ministry had received an exhaustive recommendation from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordinate Center for blocking these “malicious apps”. These apps have been a source of serious security and privacy concerns and a step had to be taken to protect the data privacy of the Indian populations which also, has been one of the largest consumers of these apps.
Amidst the apps that have been banned is the popular TikTok app which has with time gained an exorbitant amount of users in India. In May 2019, TikTok marked over 300 million users as reported by Statistica to economictimes.com and in the whole year, Indians are recorded to have spent 5.5 billion hours on TikTok as reported by indiatoday.in. Apps like CamScanner, Clash of Kinds, Xender, etc. are also some popular apps used by Indians at large and these apps would also have to bear the brunt of this ban.
This is a signature for retaliation by the Indian government over the June 15 face-off at the Galwan valley in Ladakh where 20 soldiers of the Indian army lost their lives. Tensions between both the nations have just escalated ever since and this economic backlash serves as India’s answer via ‘Digital Combat’.