India bans TikTok and other apps as Chinese border tensions grow
The Indian government has banned TikTok, the hugely popular social media app, as part of sweeping anti-China measures after a violent confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops.
TikTok and 50 other Chinese-made apps have been banned over concerns they “pose a threat to sovereignty and security” of India. Although the government announcement did not explicitly mention China, only Chinese-made apps have been blacklisted.
The ban follows a confrontation with Chinese troops two weeks ago along the disputed Himalayan border
in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. India has accused China of infringing national sovereignty by moving thousands of troops and artillery into disputed territory in Ladakh.
The clash was the worst conflict between India and China in 60 years, and despite pledges on both sides to de-escalate, satellite footage appears to show China solidifying its presence along the border.
The decision to ban TikTok, an app where people upload short videos, is likely to cause reverberations through India, where it has more than 200 million users and is the most downloaded
app in the country. Some TikTok stars there boast tens of million of followers.
The Indian government said the ban was to protect the data and privacy of its 1.3 billion citizens by blocking technology that was “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers outside India”.
There have been growing calls in India for a boycott of Chinese goods and investment. The government has already announced plans to raise import duties on about 300 products and ban Chinese firms from bidding on telecom projects.