TikTok application, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has an estimate of 120 million users in India. After one of the most heated confrontations between India and China, the prior decided to ban over 50 Chinese mobile applications.
In a statement on Monday, June 29th India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that Chinese apps were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India”.
India blames China for causing the fight by intruding into Himalayan territory. The Chinese version blames India for the exact same intrusion. This is not the first time these two countries dispute over territory. In 2017, Indian troops were forced to delete various Chinese apps for national security concerns. Those apps are now banned for the entire country.
India's former adviser on National Security, Brahma Chellaney tweeted:
“The government views Indian citizens’ data as sovereign. India has a fear of digital colonization, and has avoided signing data sharing agreements in the past,” said Nikhil Pahwa, founder of an organization that defends free and open internet.
The U.S. government is also investigating TikTok for national security concerns. The question is how will India enforce the ban without adding to the heated brawl with China.