India Bans Chinese Apps
On June 29, 2020, India put a ban on 59 mobile applications owned by Chinese companies. These bans follow increasing border tensions between the two countries after a fight broke out between Indian and Chinese soldiers in an area called “The Line of Actual Control” earlier this year. These app bans are significant as one of the largest apps to be banned in India is a social media app called TikTok, whose biggest market is India. Here is the full list of all banned apps in India.
Protecting your Data
The reason for these bans comes from data miners. Across the world, Data Miners are citing proof that the Chinese government is using the app to spy on users. Hacker activists have been taking to social media to warn people that within the app’s code, there are API calls to extract as much data from the installer as possible. What this means is that at all times this app is sending back any and all personal data on your device to their database. Things like:
GPS location, what network you are on, other apps you have installed, phone hardware information, and more.
The ban is a big impact on the Chinese market as TikTok has over 800 million downloads. With 467 million of those downloads coming from India alone. The last time TikTok was banned in India was in April 2019. And it was reported that TikTok lost close to $500,000 USD in ad revenue per day it was banned. With more than half its user base suddenly unable to connect to the platform, as well as mounting allegations of illegal harvesting of data, TikTok is now facing an uncertain future.
If you are using TikTok or any of the other banned mobile applications, it is highly recommended to uninstall them to protect your data. During these times there are other options to turn to while still maintaining security, such as YouTube and Vimeo. Personal data has become a huge security threat, and we need to be more vigilant about which companies we give access to our information.