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India Bans TikTok and 58 Other Chinese Apps following Border Clashes

A person holds a smartphone as the TikTok logo is displayed behind them. November 7, 2019 (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

India announced a ban on TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps on Monday, following clashes between Indian and Chinese forces at the nations’ shared border.

The list of apps also includes Weibo, China’s counterpart to Whatsapp, and Shareit, a file-sharing app that has worked in the past with Google. India’s Ministry of Technology termed the apps “prejudicial to [the] sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

“On the basis of…recent credible inputs that such Apps pose a threat to [the] sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps,” the Ministry said in a statement. “This decision is a targeted move to ensure the safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.”

Clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Himalayan border region of Ladakh earlier this month saw 20 Indian soldiers killed and 70 injured, along with an unknown number of Chinese casualties. Troops along the border are not equipped with firearms, and the two sides fought using bats and clubs wrapped in barbed wire.

The two nations fought a war in 1962 over clashes in Ladakh. The region is a part of Kashmir and sits at the intersection of India, China, and Pakistan, all of which are nuclear-armed.

TikTok has also come under scrutiny in the U.S., with the military banning use of the app among its personnel. On Friday Apple claimed to have caught the app uncovering personal data on millions of users’ phones.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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