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India bans 59 Chinese Apps including Tik-Tok
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology announced in a press release on 29th June that it had invoked its powers under section 69A of the Information Technology Act to ban 59 Chinese applications. The Indian government cited ‘raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians’ as reasons behind the ban. The move comes after a border skirmish with China resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers. Regardless of the cybersecurity concerns cited in the press release, speculation remains rife over whether the ban was a retaliatory measure in light of the worsening geopolitical situation between India and China. India is a huge market for Chinese apps, particularly for the video-sharing platform Tik-Tok which had previously been banned in February 2019 for encouraging the spread of pornography and ‘cultural degradation’. The ban was ultimately lifted after assurances by Tik-Tok that it had the tools to censor explicit content. The current ban has been called a purely political decision and criticised for its procedural impropriety and its excessive restriction on dissemination of online content.