TikTok becomes the main weapon as India is currently facing an exchange of heat with China after the recent violation in the Galwan Valley. The violation of the ceasefire in the LAC led to a fight between the military officials of both nations. This in turn led to the loss of life on both sides. TikTok is the current hot topic trending in both nations. Therefore, even if atomic retaliation is not in India’s point of affairs, they are not willing to stand back.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared digital airstrike on China today as the Ministry of Information Technology decided to ban 59 Chinese apps including the popular media sharing platform TikTok. The statement from the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology says it received an “exhaustive recommendation” from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre and the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding these particular apps.
Currently, this is not only a result of digital supremacy. India is at war with China unofficially, therefore this is nothing but an announcement of a cold war. The digital war that India launched today will have several effects throughout the nation. Many people were already against many Chinese apps like TikTok due to its promotion of content supporting violence. However, the latest borderline incident in the Galwan valley worked as a fuel to the already lit fire. The ministry not only attacked TikTok but also took down 58 other apps along with it.
TikTok and 59 other Chinese apps banned in India
The ban is invoked under section 69 A of the Information Technology Act (IT Act) and the provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009. The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers that have locations outside India.
— Gopi Maniar (@gopimaniar) June 29, 2020
The list of 59 mobile apps with their origin in China includes TikTok, SHAREit, US Browser, Baidu map, Helo, Mi Community, Club Factory, WeChat, UC News, Weibo, Xender, Meitu, CamScanner, and Clean Master- Cheetah Mobile. Overall, this digital attack is something India should have done a long time back. But, better late than never.
The latest mystery is however about another popular app in the gaming world. The battle royale game by the name of PUBG is very common among youngsters nowadays. The popular game has given rise to many tournaments over the year. On top of that, the finals of this game offer millions of dollars. However, there is a common debate going on the internet about whether this app is completely Chinese or not.
PUBG is not a Chinese app by nature. Therefore, there is no clear indication as to what will happen with this app. This is mainly because the original company behind the game, Bluehole, is actually a South Korean company. However, the publishing house, Tencent media is a Chinese company. So maybe due to the clash of ideologies, India is considering not banning the popular gaming app.
In terms of the economy, both countries will be hit hard. China will lose a lot as the country loses a user base of 1 billion people. But, Indian ad franchises will also lose a lot due to the reason that they chose these Chinese platforms to promote their products. TikTok crossed the 2 billion mark soon after surpassing the 1.5 billion mark in the first quarter of 2020. Out of the 2 billion, India turned out to be the biggest driver with over 611 million downloads. The report reveals that TikTok’s surge in popularity was due to the coronavirus pandemic. People found TikTok to be most entertaining and engaging in quarantine.
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