India bans TikTok in crackdown on Chinese-controlled social media

India has banned social media giant TikTok, as part of a sweeping shutdown of Chinese apps in the country.

India bans TikTok in crackdown on Chinese-controlled social media

India has banned social media giant TikTok, as part of a sweeping shutdown of Chinese apps in the country.

TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser and Shein are among 59 Chinese apps banned in India in response to serious concerns about data security.

"The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India," the Indian government said in a statement.

"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 ban comes after a border clash left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.

Both India and China said the other country had intruded on their territory in the Himalayas.

Troops have building up on both sides of the India-China border in the wake of the fighting.

"Unlike India's border with Pakistan, It's not very well defined. So occasional clashes can easily occur, for instance when a soldier wanders too far and sets up camp on the other side," Australian National University foreign affairs expert Clive Williams told Nine.com.au last week.

"You may have a local army commander who is a bit more aggressive than others. And then it is easier for tensions to rise."

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Chinese app security fears

The ban was issued late last night.

"This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users," the order issued by the Ministry of Information Technology read.

"This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace."

The move was welcomed by the Professor of Strategic Studies at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, Brahma Chellaney.

"Chinese mobile app firms and other tech firms are beholden to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) under Chinese law," he tweeted.

"As extensions of the Chinese state, they pose a national security risk."

He called for India to also ban Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE.

There are growing calls in India for a boycott of Chinese goods and investments.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, especially among teenagers and young adults across the world.

The video-sharing platform was launched in Beijing as Douyin in 2012, but was renamed for its worldwide release several years ago.

The app has more than a billion users worldwide, including 200 million in India.

It is the most downloaded app in India at present, and particular TikTok celebrities in the country have tens of millions of followers.

TikTok specialises in making short dance videos.

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While TikTok is not directly owned by the Chinese government, it does enforce strict controls on what can be shown on the app.

Content about human rights in China, the Hong Kong protests and Chinese concentration camps for religious minorities are blocked on the app.

TikTok also blocks LGBT-related content in many countries, including videos showing same-sex couples holding hands.

Riyaz Afreen, Nisha Guragain and Mr Faisu are among India's most popular stars on TikTok, with tens of millions of followers.

WeChat, another app also banned by India, is a social media platform popular in Australia, particularly among the Chinese-Australian community.

WeChat also has more than a billion active users, though most of them are in China.

Also banned was the popular mobile strategy game Clash of Kings, Weibo, Shareit and Helo.

WeChat is a leading social network among Chinese-speaking people.
Source : 9 News