India bans 59 Chinese apps including TikTok; Army deploys T-90 tanks in Galwan Valley after China’s aggressive posturing at LAC
The Government of India on Monday banned 59 apps originating from China, including very popular ones like the short video platform TikTok, UC Browser, file sharing app ShareIt, and CamScanner, which allows iOS and Android devices to be used as image and document scanners.
The ban, which has been enforced under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 comes after majority of these apps were red-flagged by intelligence agencies over concerns that they were collecting user data and possibly also sending them “outside” of the country’s borders.
Apps on the banned list include Tik Tok, Sharit, Kwai, UC Browser, Baidu map, Shein, clash of Kings, DU battery saver, Helo, Likee, YouCam makeup, Mi Community, CM Browsers, Virus Cleaner, and Apus Browser.
TikTok, one of the most popular apps in India, has over 100 million active users in the country, mainly in the heartland. Users of new social media platforms like Helo and Likee, as well as video chat app Bigo Live, which are immensely popular among Indians who are not comfortable in English, will have to look for substitutes.
Then again, most of these platforms have Indian creators, for many of whom this is the only source of income. A few thousand jobs could be at stake as many of these apps have offices and employees in India, and.
Heightened activity on India-China border amid talks
Amid another round of Sino-India military talks today, the Indian Army has deployed six T-90 missile firing tanks and top-of-the-line shoulder fired anti-tank missile systems in the Galwan Valley sector in eastern Ladakh.
The army’s decision to deploy the T-90 Bishma tanks was taken after the Chinese military had beefed up its positions on the river bed with armoured personnel carriers and troop tents. The Indian Army is occupying the dominant heights in the sector within its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
While the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) wants to make a deal on the LAC in this sector as part of withdrawal, the Indian Army is in no mood to give an inch as the military aggression came from the Western Theatre Command of China with the intention of redefining the LAC.
According to sources in the Indian Army, India is prepared for a long haul in this limited spectrum with capability of a full spectrum retaliation in case the red flag goes up. With the water temperature in the river already touching 10 below zero and the river bed temperatures more frosty than the dominant heights due to temperature inversion, it is only a matter of time when “General Winter” takes over the area and makes Chinese positions in Galwan Valley untenable.
According to defence ministry officials, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is set to speak to his American counterpart Mark Esper over the telephone today, during which the tensions at the LAC between are likely to come up for discussion.
Meanwhile, senior military commanders from India and China are meeting at Chushul today to work out the de-escalation and disengagement strategy on mutual terms.
This is the third round of Corps Commander-level talks between the two nuclear powers, with the first two rounds having taken place in Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC .