India has banned 59 of China’s biggest mobile phone apps

India has banned 59 of China’s biggest mobile phone apps, including TikTok and WeChat, on the grounds that they pose a threat to the country’s security. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology accused the apps collectively of breaching the privacy of Indian users and mining their data… Apple said it was reviewing the situation but that it was likely to comply with any order to remove the apps from its App Store. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment… The ban is the first time that India has ordered the mass removal of foreign apps and comes after the death of 20 Indian soldiers earlier this month in a brutal brawl with People’s Liberation Army troops, an incident that has inflamed anti-China sentiment… It will come as a particular blow to TikTok, which has more than 200 million users in India and counts it as its biggest overseas market… For years, India and China had looked past long-simmering border issues to focus on deepening economic ties, but the latest violence has forced the dispute back into the spotlight. New Delhi has delayed the clearance of Chinese imports at ports and airports, frustrating manufacturers of mobile phones and other telecoms equipment that rely on imported Chinese components. 

Stephanie Findlay