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India Bans 59 Apps, Including TikTok and WeChat, Citing Security

Maya Tribbitt

(Bloomberg) --

India’s Ministry of Technology banned 59 apps, including TikTok and WeChat, saying the software threatens the country’s security and sovereignty, as well as citizens’ privacy.

India, one of the largest and fastest growing digital markets, said it received complaints that some mobile apps on Google’s Android and Apple Inc.’s iOS platforms are “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”

In addition to ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok video app and Tencent’s WeChat service, the Indian tech agency listed several other Chinese apps, including offerings from Baidu Inc. and Weibo Corp.

“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 of Technology said in a statement Monday.

TikTok said it is committed to working with India to resolve the concerns.

“While the Government of India has issued an interim order to block 59 apps, our team of around 2,000 employees in India is committed to working with the government to demonstrate our dedication to user security and our commitment to the country overall,” TikTok said in a statement.

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