In the midst of ongoing tension at Sino-Indian border after a standoff with Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, the government of India on Monday took an unprecedented step and chose to ban at least 59 Chinese apps.
"We have been invited to meet concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications", Nikhil Gandhi, head of TikTok India, said. Google and Apple have removed these apps from playstore and app store.
In a statement this morning, it also said it had not shared any information of users in India with "any foreign government, including the Chinese government" and "if we are requested to in the future we would not do so". The ministry said it had received complaints alleging theft of user data and violations of user privacy.
"TikTok has democratized the internet by making it available in 14 Indian languages, with hundreds of millions of users, artists, story tellers, educators and performers depending on it for their livelihood, many of whom are first time internet users", said the statement.
Besides Bytedance's wildly popular video sharing app TikTok and Tencent's WeChat, the apps blocked by the government last evening include Alibaba's UC Browser and two of Xiaomi's apps.
Reportedly, the application is no longer available on Google Play App store and now a service termination notice has been sent to all TikTok users in India.
"The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures", the press release said.
There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India's sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.