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Digital Surgical Strike: TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps banned in India

Vishnu Vasisht

There will be another round of Lieutenant General level talks on Tuesday between India and China forces to resolve the ongoing tension on the Line of Control in Ladakh. Just before the meeting the central government banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok UC Browser, while performing a digital surgical strike. The central government said that these apps were harmful to the sovereignty, integrity and national security of the country.

The IT ministry said in an official statement released on Monday that it had received several complaints from various sources. These include several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on the Android and iOS platforms. These reports state that these apps 'steal users' data, secretly send it to servers located outside India. The banned list includes WeChat, Bigo Live, Helo, Likey, Cam Scanner, Vigo Video, MI Video Call - Xiaomi, MI Community, Clash of Kings as well as the e-commerce platforms Club Factory and Shein.

The Ministry of Information Technology decided to ban these apps using its powers under Section 69A of the IT Act and Rules.

According to sources, due to this decision of the government, Chinese companies will lose several million dollars in revenue. This decision to ban the Chinese apps has surprised people.

An official source said, "The Modi government has shown commitment and efficiency in coping with China on many fronts. At the same time, attacking China where it gets hurt the most".

For India, this is the first time since the border conflict which shows that India has many counter options.

TikTok has more than 200 million users in India, while Xiaomi is the largest mobile brand. Alibaba's UC Browser is a mobile Internet browser, available in India since 2009. It claims that it had 1.1 billion users worldwide (excluding China) in September 2019, of which half were from India.

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Here is the list of the 59 banned apps.

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