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Apple, Google comply with Indian government order to ban Chinese apps

Credit: Apple

Apple and Google are complying with a new Indian government order to block apps developed by Chinese firms.

Two days after New Delhi's order was implemented, the two Silicon Valley giants began to prevent users in India from seeing the 59 blocked apps on the App Store or Google Play store.

While Google told TechCrunch that it was "temporarily" blocking access to the apps, Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

On Monday, the Indian government said it would ban the 59 apps on concerns that they were engaging in activities that threatened the "national security and defense of India." More specifically, it appears those concerns center around "security and data and breach of privacy" related to data mining and profiling.

The list of apps is extensive, but includes TikTok, WeChat and Xiaomi's Mi Community, among others. TikTok reportedly blocked access to their app voluntarily after the order was given.

Tensions have been rising between India and China in recent weeks after a skirmish on disputed Himalayan border territory left 20 Indian soldiers dead. A report earlier on Thursday indicated that the instability in the region is impacting Apple's supply chain.

As one of the largest smartphone markets in the world, India has increasingly become a critical market for Apple and other tech companies. In 2020, Apple is planning to boost both its manufacturing and retail footprint in the country.