Following the weeks-long territorial dispute on the China-India shared border in the Himalayas, which resulted in the death of 20 Indians troops, there have been calls for the boycott of Chinese goods and Apps in the country.
China gave no details on whether there were any Chinese casualties. But now China is quickly finding out the cost of clashing with one of its major trading partners.
On Monday, 59 Chinese apps including the popular video sharing app TikTok were banned in India by the government. Others include WeChat, Weibo, Clean Master – Cheetah mobile, Cam Scanner etc.
The government in Delhi said the apps were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”
TikTok has been taken down from Apple App store and also Google Play store. Although, users who have already downloaded TikTok app can still use the it, but officially the platform is now banned in the country.
India is TikTok’s largest market outside China. TikTok has over 120 million active users in India.
According to local Chinese media, Caixin Global an insider at TikTok parent company, Chinese tech unicorn ByteDance Ltd said the ban could come with a heavy price tag as 3 of its apps were banned in India.
The cost of the ban for the company could amount to “more than $6 billion in lost revenue.” This is greater than the sum of all the losses suffered by the other 58 banned apps combined.
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TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, told the BBC, it is “committed to working with the Indian government to demonstrate our dedication to user security and our commitment to the country overall.”
Another banned Chinese app in India is feeling a reputational pinch, after losing one of its high profile users following the ban – the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi has cancelled his official account on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter according to Caixin Global.
On Thursday, Modi’s profile picture and 115 posts under the ‘Prime Minister Modi’ VIP account were removed, with the account since deleted at the request of the Indian Embassy in Beijing.
As reported by Caixin Global, “113 posts were deleted manually, while the request for the account to be deleted was being processed by Sina Weibo.
“Prior to the account’s deletion, two images remained on the page, photos of Modi with China’s President Xi, which the Indian side said they could not remove without authorization.”
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This isn’t the first time Chinese apps have been banned in India. In 2017, Alibaba’s UC Browser came under scrutiny for allegedly leaking mobile data of Indian users. And that year, India’s defence ministry asked all armed personnel and officers to uninstall 42 Chinese apps it classified as “spyware”, according to media reports.