India prohibits use of TikTok and 58 Chinese apps. Government claims to be a threat to security

India prohibits use of TikTok and 58 Chinese apps. Government claims to be a threat to security

TikTok has been facing the scrutiny of the Donald Trump Government and multiple US entities for being considered a national security risk. Now, India has decided to ban the popular application of ByteDance, as well as 58 more Chinese apps seen as a threat to the integrity and security of the country.

In a statement, the Ministry of Information and Technology details that among applications for Android and iOS banned then, for example, games like Clash of Kings, social networks like Weibo, instant messaging sites like WeChat even and a video call platform from Xiaomi.

The Ministry claims that it has received several complaints about the targeted applications on the grounds that they were stealing user data and submitting it surreptitiously to servers located outside the country.

India forbids the use of TikTok and 58 Chinese apps and claims that they are a threat to national security Applications prohibited by the Indian Government Ministry of Information and Technology of India

Taking into account the information available, [the applications] are involved in activities that are detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India, as well as the security of the State and public order, underlines the Ministry.

In response, Nikhil Gandhi, head of TikTok in India, says that the company has been contacted by government entities in order to clarify its operations. TikTok continues to comply with all privacy and data security requirements required by Indian law, explains Nikhil Gandhi.

The official also states that the company has not shared information with any foreign government, including that of China and, even if asked to do so, it will refuse to do so.

The Indian Government's decision could have a strong impact on TikTok's market share. In April, data from the consultancy Sensor Tower made it known that the application had reached 2 billion downloads worldwide, pointing to the period of social isolation caused by the pandemic of COVID-19 as the main reason behind its popularity.

Sensor Tower Data | TikTok | April 2020 credits: Sensor Tower

The report indicates that India is the largest application market, with 611 million installations to date, representing 30.3% of total downloads. China ranks second in the podium, with 196.6 million, and the United States in third, with 165 million.

TikTok: A part in the "chess game" between the United States and China?

At a time when tensions between the US and Chinese governments are increasing, ByteDance, the TikTok me company wants to move the center of its power out of China and move it to the United States. The strategy has in mind all businesses that are not aimed at the Chinese market.

It is recalled that in 2019, TikTok was considered a danger to national security. The decision came after a letter sent by Senators Chuck Schumer and Tom Cotton to the United States National Counterterrorism Center, where it is said that the application can be manipulated by the Chinese government.