The Indian government on Monday banned 59 mobile apps that were mostly China-based including Bytedance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat, due to national security and privacy concerns. The decision comes after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a border skirmish with Chinese forces in the Himalayan mountains on June 15.

"The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India," a statement from the Indian government said.

"The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures," the statement continued.  

The order will force Google and Apple to remove these apps from their Android and iOS stores in India, putting financial pressure on Chinese digital companies. Short-form video app TikTok has 119 million active users in India, while the messaging app WeChat has over one billion users worldwide. 

TikTok has drawn scrutiny in the U.S., due to concerns that user data could be shared with the Chinese government. The U.S. Army has barred soldiers from using the app on their military-issued smartphones, with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., calling for a blanket ban on the app for all federal government employees. In March, the company launched a content moderation center in Los Angeles to boost transparency. 

India could be taking additional measures against Chinese firms in the coming weeks amid the fallout from the skirmish earlier this month. The Indian government is currently discussing tariffs on Chinese imports such as air conditioners, auto parts and furniture, Bloomberg News reported last week.

India has also reportedly told two state-owned telecoms to not use Chinese-made equipment when upgrading their networks to 4G. 

According to figures released by China's government, bilateral trade between China and India stood at $92.68 billion in 2019, with a trade deficit of $56.77 billion, indicating how China exports far more to India than it imports. In terms of nominal GDP, China had the second-largest economy in the world as of March, with India’s economy the fifth largest.