The Indian government banned dozens of apps, mostly Chinese, including TikTok, WeChat, and UC Browser. (picture-alliance / dpa / Da Qing)

The Indian government on Monday decreed a ban on 59 mobile apps, most of them run by Chinese companies, accusing them of being involved in “activities detrimental to sovereignty and integrity, state security and law and order.”

The apps include the TIkTok video sharing platform, the WeChat social media app, and UC Browser, developed by a company owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Indian authorities have also banned video games like Clash of Kings and Mobile Legends.

The ban applies to both “mobile and non-mobile internet enabled devices”. Weibo, China’s microblogging service equivalent to Twitter, has also been blacklisted in India.

The ban comes less than two weeks after a border clash between Chinese and Indian troops, in which at least 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.

Privacy concern

TikTok and WeChat are very popular in India. However, WeChat, which now has close to 1.2 billion monthly active users, is also known for being strictly supervised by Chinese authorities.

The information technology ministry ordered the measure “in view of the emerging nature of the threats,” said representatives of the Indian government.

“The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources, including various reports of misuse of some mobile applications … for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting user data to servers outside of India. “The officials were quoted as cited by the Times of India.

They added that the compilation, extraction and platforms of this data was “a matter of deep and immediate concern that requires emergency measures.”