When the ban was first imposed, the Indian government gave the 59 apps a chance to explain their position on compliance with privacy and security requirements.
The companies, which include ByteDance’s popular video-sharing app TikTok, Tencent Holdings’ WeChat and Alibaba’s UC Browser, were also asked to respond to a list of questions.
“The government is not satisfied with the response and explanation given by these companies. Hence, the ban for these 59 apps is permanent now,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry’s order stated that the apps were prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order.
The order, which India referred to as a ‘digital strike’, followed a skirmish with Chinese troops at a disputed Himalayan border site when 20 Indian soldiers were killed.
In September 2020, India banned 118 mobile apps, including Tencent’s popular videogame player unknown’s battlegrounds (PUBG), as it stepped up the pressure on Chinese technology companies following the standoff at the border.
A TikTok representative said that the company was evaluating the notice and will respond to it as appropriate.