INDIA VERSUS CHINA DIGITAL STRIKE
Author : Eshika Singla
In today’s era the most common threat to many countries is cyber-attack. With the rise in tension between Chinese and Indian troops near line of actual control (LAC) in Ladakh Galwan”s valley weeks ago, due to which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, in response to this Indian government made a big movement by banning 59 Chinese apps from google play store and apple store on Monday 29th June 2020. However initially the statement released by Indian government officials was that trade between India and China will not at all be hampered by border tensions. But it was high time and citizens all over India were expecting something to make martyred lives valuable. So apart from this digital strike Indian government also took steps to strike off various contracts with Chinese firms in different sectors such as railway and telecom. In this article an attempt has been made to discuss the meaning of this digital strike, apps banned in this strike, cause behind this digital strike, response of Indian citizens to this strike and finally its impact on Chinese markets.
Meaning of ‘Digital Strike’
The word digital strike is very well defined by Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad he told in one of the virtual rally’s that the ban put on 59 Chinese apps by Indian government is to honor the martyred lives to give reply to China that is more devastating in terms of loss and a peaceful way to deal with he termed this ban of Chinese apps to be ‘Digital Strike’ against China.
Causes of Digital Strike
The core reason behind this digital strike was the Ladakh face-off. Chinese soldiers were trying to build pressure on Indian soldiers at Line of actual control (LAC), this dispute started in the month of May, but the situation took an ugly face when 20 Indian soldiers got martyred in the cross firing between Indian and Chinese troops. On the other China did not released any exact figure of number troops who lost their lives in this face-off. Entire country was in face of extreme sadness and sense of despair to the loss of Indian troops. Everyone around India was expecting that effort did not go vain and Indian government should give a reply to China. Then on Monday 29th June 2020 Indian government officials came with news of banning 59 Chinese apps stating the reason for same which has been explained below;
- Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology (IT) said that for us the most supreme thing is privacy and protection of data of our citizens. So, keeping in view the ongoing tensions between India and China as well to pay tribute to efforts of our Indian soldiers he sought to banned 59 Chinese apps considering them to be a major threat to citizens data privacy.
- This decision was regarded as way to important for India’s sovereignty, security of state, integrity of the country as well as protection of country from any kind of cyberwarfare.
- To give the effect to entire situation government strictly adhered to procedure laid down under section 69A of Information Technology Act
List of 59 Chinese apps banned.
- Tik -Tok
- Share It
- UC Browser
- We chat
- Cam scanner
- Club Factory
- DU recorder
- DU cleaner
- DU browser
- Vigo video
- We meet
- Wonder camera
- Phot wonder
- QQ player
- Sweet Selfie
- QQ international and 39 more such apps.
Among these the most used apps were tik-tok, club factory, Shein etc. In India more people were driven to use of Tik-Tok app on daily basis. This step of banning the app was taken towards safeguarding the interest of crores of Indian mobile users and internet users, the entire move was planned so that people do not face any serious data threat in nearer future.
Response of Indian Citizens to this Ban.
As far as popularity Tik-Tok in Indian was concerned it had the highest number of users approximately 611 million users out of the total 2 billion people who subscribed to this app. Added to this was lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic which increased the use of Tik-Tol in India. Shopping apps like Shein and club factory also had a large number of users from India.
Most of these users were youngsters some of them were initially disheartened on the ban of these apps on the counterpart some supported government’s decision considering it to be necessity of time.
Ministry tried to explain the youth about this great opportunity to launch Indian apps in market that could replace these Chinese apps. It is time to become self-dependent which we also term as ‘ATAM NIRBHAR’ in Hindi language. Or country already had certain apps that could act as replacement for these apps such as instead of using cam scanner for scanning documents one can use pdf scanner instead of shopping from apps like Shein etc. one could go for Myntra, Flipkart etc. It was high time that we realize the factor that our dependency on foreign products need to be reduced one could also say that it was government’s appeal to people ‘TO be vocal for local’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in order to encourage and motivate the young app developers and innovators in India announced the ‘Digital India Atmanirbhar Bharat Innovation Challenge’ with mantra ‘To make in India for India and the world’.
Impact of Ban on Chinese Market.
Since the Indian government has banned 59 Chinese apps along with Tik-Tok it has come to the observation that China has suffered a major setback and financial loss. It has come to the notice that China has suffered a huge loss of at least 6 billion dollars however exact figure could not be calculated as China has not made it clear so far. It was reported that Bytedance which included apps like Tik-Tok, Helo etc. which had many of its potentially active users in India. It was a kind of silent reply to what China did to India. The Bytedance’s loss alone would cover the loss suffered by all the apps jointly. Ban of these 59 Indian Chinese had resulted in a disastrous loss to company.
Some people may consider it to be a disguise but it’s actually an opportunity to grow and to build a better India which is least dependent on foreign Countries. Further ban of these 59 Chinese app states that India will no longer get suppressed by Violence caused by foreign countries and will reply in the best manner possible.
 This empowers the central government to block the online content and arrest the culprit. This is one of the primary laws that deal with electronic commerce and cybercrime in India.