India has banned 59 of China’s biggest mobile phone apps, including TikTok and WeChat, on the grounds that they pose a threat to the country’s security, reported the Financial Times.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology accused the apps collectively of breaching the privacy of Indian users and mining their data. “The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India [ . . . ] is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” it said.
“I’ve not seen something at this scale,” said Apar Gupta, executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation in New Delhi. “A precedent exists only towards blocking smaller websites and blogs with secessionist writings.”
It will come as a particular blow to TikTok, which has more than 200 million users in India and counts it as its biggest overseas market.