The Indian Government recently announced that it banned a very large number of Chinese mobile applications. 59 were removed, including some top platforms used for social media, like WeChat, Helo, and giant TikTok. The reason for the ban was a possible security threat that compromises India’s “sovereignty and security”, according to an official press release by the government.
Several Apps Affected
Other applications that were included on the list include the Clubfactory shopping app, the UC browser, and ShareIT. All this comes across as tensions are rising between China and India, all because of clashes that happened at the border.
According to the Indian government, the 90 targeted Chinese applications were engaged in activities that were labeled as being “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India”. It was also mentioned that the country’s security and defense are also affected. Section 69A of the Indian Information Technology Act was used to impose the ban, including provisions coming from a 2009 IT Rules act. The government cited different complaints about Indian user data being transferred to locations from other countries without being authorized.
Due to this move, it is possible that the Digital Silk Route Chinese ambitions will be negatively affected and that the valuations of the companies behind them would be lowered, with digital marketing trends affected to some degree. However, we should take into account that the number of Indian users for these apps is usually a lot lower than the users in China, although still more than in other parts of the world. For instance, in the case of Tik Tok, there are over 400 million users in China and around 120 million in India. In the US, there are around 40 million users. On the whole, when covering all the 59 Chinese apps banned, there are over 300 million total users in India, which is a country that has around 450 million users of smartphone devices.
MHA Recommended Ban Praised By Some
The Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre was listed as being the one that recommended the ban. There was no immediate response coming from Alibaba (UC Browser owner) and ByteDance (Helo and Tik Tok owners).
As expected, the ban was welcomed by the rivals of these apps. This includes InMobi, the company behind Tik Tok rival Roposo because it means that there is a possibility that new users will appear. In a similar way, Bolo Indya will benefit because of this ban. Obviously, digital marketers will need to adapt their content strategies and use the new networks available, in the event that people make the switch.
From a legal point of view, the ban is covered and justified. However, the belief that the companies will be affected is far-fetched. American apps might take a part of the market share or Indian apps are going to fill the void. Even so, the expansion of social networks like Tik Tok cannot be stopped simply because of a ban. At the same time, it is rather convenient that the ban appeared at a time of turmoil.