The Indian government has announced a ban on 59 Chinese applications, including TikTok and WeChat, under the Information Technology Act. In an official press release, the government said that the applications are "engaged in activities which are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".
The Ministry of Information Technology stated that it had been receiving numerous complaints from both Android and iOS users about unauthorised app data leaks and transmissions to servers outside of India.
"The compilation of the data of Indians, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures", the press release read.
The statement went on to say that the move represented India's first retaliatory measure amid the uptick in border tensions between the two nations.
"This is a major blow to China’s Digital Silk Route ambitions, eroding millions of dollars from valuation of its companies. This could also lead to more countries following India’s path in acting against these Apps", the press released said.
Some 200 mln people in India use TikTok, according to the Chinese video-sharing social network's data for 2019. According to the service, this number was expected to be up by 50% by the end of 2020.
India and China have long been engaged in border conflicts due to the absence of a marked frontier, having only the loosely demarcated Line of Actual Control marking their territories in the Himalayas since a border war in 1962. Tensions have recently been exacerbated as a result of clashes that began in May.