India bans TikTok, Likee, WeChat, UCweb And other Chinese Apps Amid Border Clashes

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India government has placed a ban on 59 Chinese owned social media app including TikTok, Likee, WeChat,UCweb, amid the heightening tension military between the two countries.

India government announced late monday that it was banning 59 Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok, which is operated by Chinese internet firm Bytedance. It cited privacy concerns that it said pose a threat to India’s sovereignty and security.

The banned apps include some that enable TikTok users to add visual effects and music to their posts, as well as dating apps, privacy apps and multiplayer games.

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India’s information technology ministry issued a statement saying it had received reports that mobile apps were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data.”

The compilation of such data, and its mining and profiling by elements hostile to India is “a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the statement said.

On Tuesday India follow through with their threats as India TikTok users awoke to a notice from the popular short-video app saying their data would be transferred to an Irish subsidiary, a response to India’s ban on dozens of Chinese apps.

The quick workaround showed the ban was largely symbolic since the apps can’t be automatically erased from devices where they are already downloaded, and is a response to a border clash with China where 20 Indian soldiers died earlier this month, digital experts said.

The ban on Chinese apps, signed by India’s powerful Home Minister Amit Shah, asked phone companies to begin blocking the applications Tuesday, as top Army officers from India and China were set to meet for a third time to try to quell tensions and rein back on military build-ups in the disputed border area.

Among the list of newly banned apps, Alibaba’s UC Browser, WeChat, Meitu’s Beauty Plus camera app and Bigo’s Likee video editing app are among the top 100 most downloaded apps in India, according to app intelligence firm App Annie.

India is one of TikTok’s largest markets. As of April, 30 percent of TikTok’s 2 billion downloads were from India, according to app data analytics firm Sensor Tower.

This isn’t the first time TikTok has been banned in India — the Madras High Court in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu banned it last year over hate speech concerns, but quickly vacated its order.

The two Asian giants accuse the other of starting the fracas on a high mountain pass two weeks ago by entering the other’s territory.

The standoff in the Galwan Valley began about two months ago, when the two sides accused each other of incursions, leading to a troop build-up and unprecedented military construction on both sides.

The two countries share a 2,100-mile border, much of which remains disputed and without official demarcation.

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Wisdom Iwu
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