(Bloomberg) -- India banned 59 apps from China including TikTok, owned by ByteDance Ltd., citing privacy and security concerns amid worsening relations between the two neighbors.
Apps from other Chinese technology giants were also barred, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s UC Web, Baidu Inc.’s Baidu Map and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s Clash of Kings, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement. The move comes days after border skirmishes with China in the Himalayas that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
“Upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India,” the government has decided to bar the apps, the ministry said in the statement on Monday.
India has been trying to reduce dependence on Chinese products, while customs officials have halted clearances of industrial consignments coming in from the nation at major Indian ports and airports as a border standoff that’s been brewing for nearly two months shows no signs of easing.
For ByteDance this is the latest woe. It has also been facing scrutiny in Europe, and has been grappling with mounting questions from U.S. policy makers over whether it jeopardizes national security.
“Some of these Chinese apps are not just for commerce but have deeply entrenched into the social fabric of our lives,” said Anil Kumar, chief executive officer of technology researcher, RedSeer Consulting. “They know what you do, what you say, where you go. In the current context, they can be viewed as a threat to our national security.”
ByteDance did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
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