On the evening of June 29, Twitter came abuzz with news of India biting the bullet and banning 59 Chinese apps, including mega apps such as TikTok, Camscanner, shareIT, Helo, WeChat, Weibo as well as games like Clash of Legends.
While the government claimed that the decision to ban apps has been taken after considering months of feedback from concerned parties and citizens about data sovereignty, the timing of the ban — coming just weeks after the Chinese army’s incursion into the eastern Ladakh region — makes it a geopolitical.
The government said that the banned Chinese apps posed a “threat to sovereignty and integrity” of the country. A few weeks later, another 47 apps were banned, taking the list now to over 200.
For long, intelligence agencies around the world have accused Chinese tech companies of stealing user data to provide geopolitical advantage to China. And with its move, India joined the league of Western nations such as the US, UK, Canada and others that see China as a threat in the Global Data War.