In a recent turn of events, the Govt. of India has reportedly banned 59 Chinese mobile applications including TikTok and WeChat in an effort to retaliate against China in the online market space as a response to the heated border dispute between the two countries.
Reportedly, India’s technology ministry mandated the ban stating that the apps are detrimental to the country’s sovereignty & integrity, defense, and state’s security & public order. Tech giants Google and Apple will now have to comply with the order and remove the app listings from the Android Play store and iOS app store.
This move comes along the heels of a Himalayan border clash between the two emerging superpowers earlier this month that resulted in the martyr of 20 Indian soldiers.
The ban is expected to adversely impact the Chinese firms which have a great deal of investment in India, which is touted as one of the world’s biggest web services market.
Sources familiar with the matter cite that the Beijing headquartered internet technology company, Bytedance had plans to invest USD 1 billion in India, establish a local data centre, and had recently accelerated its hiring processes in the country.
For the record, India contributed to 30.3% of the 611 million TikTok app installations, said the app analytics firm Sensor Tower in April.
Tencent’s WeChat is also one of the other apps that have been banned, which boasted of more than 100 million downloads on Google’s Android, two of Xiaomi’s apps, and Alibaba’s UC Browser.
An advisor to Chinese companies and partner at Indian law firm Link Legal, Santosh Pai, said that this is the fastest and most powerful move the government could have pulled off to pressurize Chinese companies.
Apparently, Google said it was still waiting for the official orders, while Apple did not retort on the matter. Whereas, Bytedance was hesitant to immediately reply to a request for comment.