A vital connection for the Chinese diaspora, the app has also become a global conduit of Chinese state propaganda, surveillance and intimidation. The United States has proposed banning it.
Fears about the global internet ecosystem intensified this week with Trump’s executive orders banning the popular video app TikTok and Chinese social network WeChat, following a US government directive to prohibit the use of other “untrusted” applications and services from China.
India’s government has banned TikTok and dozens more Chinese-made apps it says are a danger to the country. In a statement, it said the apps were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.