The Indian government has banned 59 Chinese mobile apps, including popular social media platforms WeChat and TikTok, as tensions between the two countries continue to simmer.
The Indian government said that it had taken the measures to protect the “sovereignty and security” of the country.
India and China’s militaries have been involved in skirmishes at key strategic boarder points over the past fortnight, as tensions between the two nations have ratcheted up.
The move comes as the Indian government is deliberating over whether to allow Chinese vendors, such as ZTE and Huawei, to participate in its next generation network build out. The decision to ban Chinese apps on the grounds that they pose a security threat will set a worrying precedent for Chinese network equipment vendors’ prospects in India.
“These apps have been there for a long time, and there are some privacy and security issues with them including risks of data going out of the country,” a source familiar with the matter told The Economic Times of India.
India is the world’s second largest telecoms market, with close to 1.2 billion subscribers.