India banned wildly popular Chinese app TikTok and 58 others on Monday after a border clash between troops in both countries left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead this month.
The apps, which range from gaming to music streaming and social media, are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”, the Ministry of Information Technology said in a statement on Monday.
In addition to TikTok, the mobile apps that have been banned include those made by some of China’s largest and most influential tech companies including Tencent’s WeChat, Baidu’s Twitter-like platform known as Weibo, and Xiaomi’s Mi Video Call. It is unclear how the ban will be enforced since the apps have been downloaded on phones across the country.
Anti-China sentiment has erupted in India following the deadly clash in the long-disputed Galwan Valley in the western Himalayas. The fallout has included widespread calls for boycotts of Chinese products including phones and software. Chinese phone maker Oppo pared down the launch event of their latest ultra-premium flagship phone,, in light of the diplomatic flare-up between the two nuclear-armed nations.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said it has received multiple complaints involving the misuse of mobile apps for “for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.” The government ministry went on to call the situation a matter of “very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures.”
TikTok could not immediately be reached for comment.