- On June 29 India banned 59 Chinese apps including video app TikTok, which is wildly popular in India.
- On Monday, the Indian government banned a further 47 apps which were clones that allowed people access to the previously banned apps.
- It also published a list of 275 more apps it’s considering banning.
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Last month India banned 59 Chinese apps including the wildly popular TikTok, citing a need for “data sovereignty.”
Now the country has booted a further 47, and is reviewing 275 more for potential bans.
The 47 apps which have been freshly banned were primarily clones or variants of services like TikTok per India Today. One of the banned apps was called “TikTok Lite.”
Punit Agarwal, head of the Delhi BJP’s IT and social media cell, confirmed the news on Twitter, writing: “Govt of India bans 47 more Chinese apps which were variants and cloned copies of the 59 apps that were banned in June. These banned clones include Tiktok Lite, Helo Lite, SHAREit Lite, BIGO LIVE Lite and VFY Lite. Over 250 more apps under radar including PubG. #DigitalStrike.”
Before it was banned on June 29, TikTok had an enormous audience in India. In April the app surpassed 2 billion downloads worldwide, of which 611 million came from India and accounting for 30% of TikTok’s total global audience.
Indian TikTok users seem to be feeling the app’s absence keenly.
Data from analytics site Sensor Tower shows since TikTok was banned download rates for the three next most popular video sharing apps have shot up 155%.
The Economic Times reports the Indian government is reviewing a further 275 apps, including popular battle royale video game “Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG) which is owned by Chinese gaming giant Tencent. Also included on the list is Resso, a music streaming app owned by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance.
The initial ban on Chinese apps came into force after a flare-up in geopolitical tensions between India and China following a skirmish in the disputed territory of Ladakh in northern India.
India isn’t the only country that clamping down on Chinese apps. Pakistan last week issued a final warning to TikTok, citing complaints about “immoral content.” Earlier this month Pakistan also placed a temporary ban on PUBG, saying it had also received complaints that the game was “addictive, [a] wastage of time and poses serious negative impact on physical and psychological health of the children.”
The Trump administration has also made noises about a potential TikTok ban. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on July 7 the US is “certainly” considering banning TikTok over privacy and national security concerns. A day later President Trump said he was thinking about banning TikTok as a means of punishing China for outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.