The Indian government has red-flagged usage of 59 China-linked apps, including TikTok as being a threat to national security. The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking its power under section 69A of Information Technology Act, with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 has ordered a block on the use of 59 apps saying that these apps are “engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order”.
The ministry in its press release said that it has recently been receiving complaints from various sources including several reports about the 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 a location outside India. The compilation of these data poses which threat to national security and sovereignty and is a matter of deep concern said the statement.
“The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues,” the press release mentioned.
59 Chinese apps including TikTok banned by GOI
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) stated that the 59 apps that have been banned by the Government of India.
This development has come at a time when some Indians are already calling for a ban on Chinese products. Additionally, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has released a list of 500 Chinese items for boycotting. The list includes FMCG products, consumer durables, toys, furnishing fabrics, textiles, builder hardware, footwear, apparel, kitchen items, among others. CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that the aim is to reduce import of Chinese-finished goods by $13 billion by December 2021.