Following the recent border feud that erupted between India and China, the government of the former has announced a ban of 59 Chinese-developed mobile applications, including Tiktok, which according to global statistics, is now ranked as the 4th most downloaded app.
The government of India received intelligence suggesting that the apps posed a threat to national security by the transmission of user data to servers outside of India. Reports of unauthorized sharing of a user’s personal information and violation of user privacy reached India’s response team for computer emergencies.
These anomalies, paired with the preexisting wedge between the nations, drove the governing body of India to take these precautionary measures, in observance as well to their law for the protection of the nation’s well-being.
This drastic change will affect both Indian and Chinese citizens. Research analyst Tarun Pathak says that about 1/3 of the overall population of smartphone users in India would be greatly impacted by the change. Chinese companies would also suffer, considering that the Indian population comprises a large part of their market.
Since the Himalayas incident, where 20 Indian military soldiers lost their lives, Indian citizens have begun to see China in a bad light. Movements to boycott Chinese products circulated the Internet. An issue involving the app Tiktok also emerged, showing videos with immoral themes such as violence, racism, animal abuse, objectifying women, and even child abuse. This resulted in a hurricane of negative comments and feedback, many of which came from Indians. A new app appeared on Google Play Store called ‘Remove China Apps’ not long after. However, Google deleted it from the store, saying that the app did not abide to the platform’s guidelines. Recalling Tiktok’s temporary ban in India during April of 2019, the app lost about half a million dollars in revenue.
April 2020, India made a reform on their policies regarding foreign investments, requiring all future ventures from adjacent countries to undergo due process in New Delhi before investments are given the green light.
New Delhi government has issued memos to Google and Apple to make the apps unavailable for installation. Negotiations are currently ongoing. Other details regarding the ban are yet to be disclosed.