India blocks TikTok, WeChat and 57 other apps that send data to China

India’s IT ministry banned 59 apps on Monday. It applies to Android and iOS alike. In the second largest country in the world by population, TikTok, WeChat, ES File Explorer, UC Browser, seven QQ apps and two Baidu programs are now on the index. The Ministry accuses all apps of continuously transmitting data to the People’s Republic of China. Accordingly, it justifies the ban with the defense of India’s sovereignty, security and data protection interests of users.

All banned apps are said to “be involved in activities that are detrimental to India’s sovereignty and integrity, India’s defense, state security, and public order,” the Ministry announces. It speaks of “raging concerns about data security and privacy for 1.3 billion Indians.” It had recently been found that this also posed a threat to the country’s sovereignty and security.

Because the banned apps would “steal user data and secretly send it to foreign servers. The merging of this data, its evaluation and profiling by elements that are hostile to India’s national security and defense (…) is a matter of very deep and immediate concern, the emergency measures makes necessary. ” The word China does not appear in the communication. Armed forces in India and China have recently fought battles in a border region that have cost dozens of lives.

Notices contributed by the Indian Coordination Center for Combating Online Crime, the Ministry of the Interior, the Computer Emergency Response Team CERT-IN, reports from hacking victims and complaints from elected representatives contributed to the ban. “The move will secure the interests of tens of millions of Indian (users),” the ministry is convinced, “the decision is a targeted step to ensure the security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.”


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