India has banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps as tensions erupt between the two nuclear-armed nations.
The ban comes after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash with Chinese soldiers in eastern Ladakh in the Himalayas on June 15.
The viral video platform TikTok joins other popular Chinese apps, UC Browser, WeChat, Bigo Live, as well as e-commerce platforms Club Factory and Shein, to have been banned by the Indian government on Monday.
A government statement said there have been mounting concerns about data security and safeguarding the privacy of 1.3 billion Indians. It said such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of the country.
‘The Ministry of Information Technology 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 unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India,’ the statement said.
The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and the defence of India was ‘a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,’ the statement said.
Tensions have been growing since early May, when Indian officials said Chinese soldiers crossed the boundary in the Galwan Valley in the northern Ladakh state.
Scuffles reportedly broke out when Indian troops dismantled a camp set up by China on their side of the border.
This then boiled over into a full-scale brawl, with many men reportedly dying in sub-zero temperatures after plunging into glacial waters.
India said 20 of its soldiers were killed, while China said it suffered 43 casualties, but did not say whether any of its men were killed.
The battle was the first deadly conflict between the two nuclear-armed countries since 1975.
India claimed its soldiers were beaten with nail-studded clubs then mutilated by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Soldiers were reportedly impaled with iron rods, thrown off cliffs and left to freeze to death in the horrific border brawl, according to a MailOnline report.
No bullets were fired due to a peace treaty which bars firearms within 2km of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which was drawn down the 17,000ft-high valley after India’s defeat in the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
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