Indian government bans 59 Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok


"China is strongly concerned, verifying the situation", said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

"The Indian government has the responsibility to follow the legal rights of worldwide investors including Chinese, the pattern is not in the interest of Indians too", China's foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

"China is strongly concerned by the notice served by the Indian government", it said, adding, "the Chinese government always asks Chinese businessmen to abide by global law and regulations in their business cooperation". The list includes extremely popular services, such as the TikTok video-sharing platform, microblogging site Weibo, and the ShareIt file-sharing app, among others. In recent years, India has emerged as "a primary market in the digital space", the ministry explained, and the rapid growth prompted "raging concerns" about safeguarding the privacy of Indians.

The ban applies to both "mobile and non-mobile internet enabled devices".

The ministry of electronics and information technology said in a statement that it 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.

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TikTok is one of more than 50 Chinese-made apps that have been banned by the Ministry of Information over concerns that they "pose a threat to sovereignty and security" of India.

The ban is also expected to be a big stumbling block for firms such as Beijing-based Bytedance which had plans to invest $1bn in India, open a local data centre, and had recently ramped up hiring in the country.

Besides, many of these apps such as UC News and others have offices and employees in India, which can adversely affect scores of Indian employees whose jobs could be at stake. "This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace", the statement added.

While users can no longer download TikTok in India, existing users who have already downloaded the app can continue using it to post videos, at least for the time being.