The differences between the two Asian superpowers China and India are now also being played out in the digital world. The most recent conflict is about data protection and security concerns – specifically mobile apps made in China. According to the Indian government, the Chinese video app TikTok and 59 smartphone apps developed mainly in China are to disappear from the nation’s mobile phones and computer screens. The government argues that privacy and security in Indian cyberspace must not be compromised.
For the Chinese parent company Beijing ByteDance Technology, the loss of users in the world’s second most populous country is a bitter setback, which, according to initial estimates, will cause the tech giant to lose up to USD 6 billion. Other Chinese companies are also affected. In addition to TikTok, the widespread applications UC Browser, the microblogging service Weibo App as well as Apps from China’s largest Internet group Tencent are also expected to disappear from the Indian market.
With this policy the Chinese-Indian conflict is expanding into the digital sphere. China has so far held back and has not yet taken restrictive measures against India. However, if the Chinese government counters with similar measures, western providers of digital technologies could benefit.
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