Amid deadly conflict over the border, India bans TikTok and 58 other Chinese applications

Amid deadly clashes over disputed Line of Actual Control, in Ladakh, India has claimed that China is spying and stealing data using online applications, hence banning TikTok and 58 other Chinese applications in India. Citing security concerns, Indian government on Monday banned overall 59 Chinese applications, including TikTok, Alibaba’s UC browser, and Tencent’s WeChat.

The ban comes after a deadly border clash, that used no weapons, claimed 20 Indian soldiers on June 15 this year. This was a hand-to-hand conflict, and no modern weapons were used by both sides. Still, that conflict claimed 20 Indian causalities and many injuries.

A Beijing-based internet technology company, TikTok is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance. It was founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. Users use it to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos. ByteDance first launched Douyin for the China market in September 2016.

The applications are a threat to sovereignty, the integrity of India, defense, and security of the state and public order, claimed by India’s Ministry of Information and Technology. It is only statements from the Indian side, which claim security concerns and justify this decision with the right to sovereignty. Chinese side does not accept the accusation.

A statement came from the Ministry of Information and Technology, ‘The decision is a targeted move to ensure the sovereignty and safety of Indian cyberspace’.  However, Indian ministry has not mentioned in its statement the border conflict as a background for the ban, but rumors are all around and claims are being made that India is threatening China with a ban on Chinese-own applications. Indian Ministry says that they have received many complaints of data theft and privacy violation, that led them to the ban on Chinese applications, a total of 59 apps including world popular TikTok app.

India can use this technique to threaten the Chinese side as India is a massive market for the TikTok application, with over 120 million users in India. So, striking China digitally may be a technique to Chinese demand of India withdrawal from Galway valley, in the Ladakh region.

Development in India China Border Conflict

It happened on Monday, 15th of June 2020 in the high Ladakh region after a month-long standoff between the two neighbors along the disputed border of the Ladakh area. The border stretches between Nepal and Kashmir Region in the North of India and South of China. However, later on a military level meeting was held on June 22 after that Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian said that the talks happened between the top regional military commanders, and both sides agreed to de-escalate the situations to the still point where it was before the skirmish. A few days later news circulated that at the corps commander talks on June 6 and June 22, demand has come forward from the Chinese side that is the withdrawal of Indian personnel and facilities from Galway valley. Indian top-level Newspaper ‘The Hindu’ quoted officials from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Indian foreign affairs ministry as saying on Wednesday

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