Reuters, June 29, 2020
India on Monday banned 59, mostly Chinese, mobile apps including Bytedance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat in its strongest move yet targeting China in the online space since a border crisis erupted between the two countries this month.
India’s technology ministry issued an order stating the apps are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
Following the order, Google and Apple will have to remove these apps from the Android and iOS stores.
The move comes after a deadly border clash between the two nuclear-armed neighbours in a disputed Himalayan region earlier this month that resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers.
India is the biggest driver of TikTok app installations, accounting for 611 million lifetime downloads, or 30.3% of the total, app analytics firm Sensor Tower said in April.
Among other apps that have been banned are Tencent’s WeChat, which has been downloaded more than 100 million times on Google’s Android, Alibaba’s (BABA.N) UC Browser and two of Xiaomi’s apps.