The Government of India has banned TikTok, popular messaging app WeChat and a couple of other Chinese apps. In total, 59 apps were banned.
In a statement, it said the apps are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.”
The ban follows weeks of escalating tensions centered around the disputed border between the two countries.
India’s Ministry of Technology said it was banning the 59 apps after it had received “many complaints from various sources” about apps that were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner.”
“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to National security and defense 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 ministry said in its statement.
TikTok has faced backlash in the last few months for various reasons including racism and promoting violence against women due to the content shared on the app.
Last month, the app trended on many social media platforms including Twitter for its failure to moderate posts propagating violence and domestic abuse.
The National Commission of Women in India chairperson Rekha Sharma called for the ban of the app and said she would be writing to the Government of India.
“It not only has these objectionable videos but also pushing youngsters towards unproductive life where they are living only for few followers and even dying when the numbers decline,” she said at the time.
TikTok issued an apology and suspended users whose accounts were used to make posts promoting violence. The company also joined in the #BlackLivesMatter movement in efforts to end racism.
TikTok has become very popular with young people but is facing accusations of having links to the Chinese State, and of sending user data into China.