Surprisingly, India is one of TikTok's biggest markets, with in excess of 611 million lifetime downloads.
The ban comes less than two weeks after a deadly border clash between Chinese and Indian troops, which saw at least 20 Indian soldiers lose their lives. At the moment, Vigo Video is still available on the app stores, alongside apps like AliBaba Group's UC Browser and UC News, Bigo Technologies' Likee, Xiaomi's Mi Community and more, which are all on the government's list.
Authorities in India have received multiple reports of "misuse" of certain applications "for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorized manner" to servers located outside of the country, officials said.
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.
It said there have been mounting concerns about data security and safeguarding the privacy of 1.3 billion Indians.
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In its interim order banning these Chinese apps, the government stated, "invoking it's power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has chose to block 59 apps since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".
In total, 59 apps were banned - among them popular messaging app WeChat.
FE had reported in its edition dated June 28 that the government has zeroed down on taking action against Chinese Internet apps as a form of retaliation as it feels that banning other Chinese products like mobile phones or components imported from that country which are used across industrial segments, tend to hurt domestic producers who do not favour such moves in the immediate and short-term. Notably, when TikTok app was blocked in India for a week in 2019, ByteDance had said in a court filing that it was losing more than $5,00,000 (9Rs 3.7 Crore) a day in the nation.
While the government notice issuing the ban did not explicitly mention China by name, it is only Chinese-made apps that have been blacklisted.