India bans ‘threatening’ TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps over spying fears after deadly border clashes
INDIA has banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps over spying fears after deadly border clashes between the nuclear states.
It is thought to be India's first major retaliation since 20 of its soldiers died in a bloody battle between the two powers at their Himalayan border earlier this month.
Also on the banned list is WeChat, Weibo, Shein, UC Browser, Youcam makeup, UC News, WeSync and Baidu map.
India's Ministry of Information Technology insisted the apps were "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order."
It added: "India has emerged as a leading innovator when it comes to technological advancements and a primary market in the digital space.
"At the same time, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians."
The app denied any wrongdoing, insisting that it "continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and have not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese Government."
But in January cyber-experts warned that TikTok's links to China put every user at risk of "spying and censorship."
Part of the problem is that Chinese companies are legally required to share info with the government.
And even though Chinese-owned TikTok is physically based in the US, there is plenty of scepticism about whether the app will ever be truly safe from prying eyes.
TikTok is a popular video-sharing platform with more than 800 million users worldwide. It rose to popularity through users trying out various trends and dance challenges.
The ban is thought to be India's first big retaliation after a 500-soldier brawl between the nuclear-armed states in Galwan Valley on June 15.
Chinese state media warned it would "crush any aggression" and boasted it was ready for conflict with India after it threatened revenge for the death of 20 Indian soldiers.
China did not reveal how many soldiers it lost in the conflict but Indian ministers have suggested it could be close to 40.
And while a ferocious WW3 appeared to be off the table after both nations signed a peace agreement, days later India deployed fighter jets and beefed up its military in the region.
Fears of an all out war raging between the two nuclear powers first emerged when each moved thousands of soldiers to the Himalayas earlier this month.
The China-India border dispute covers nearly 2,175 miles of frontier that the two countries call the Line of Actual Control.
They fought a bitter war in 1962 that spilled into Ladakh and the dispute has simmered on ever since and also tensions on their north eastern border.
India said the latest dispute began in early May when large contingents of Chinese soldiers entered deep inside Indian-controlled territory at three places in Ladakh, erecting tents and posts.
Chinese soldiers were accused of ignoring repeated verbal warnings to leave which lead to shouting matches, stone-throwing and fistfights.
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