“NOW THE Chinese will know that, when we want to act, we shall act as we wish, without warning,” thundered Arnab Goswami, jabbing a finger towards t
“NOW THE Chinese will know that, when we want to act, we shall act as we wish, without warning,” thundered Arnab Goswami, jabbing a finger towards the camera. “We shall move in stealth, and attack when necessary!” Judging from the triumphalism of this host on Republic TV, a jingoistic private channel, one might have guessed that the Indian army was at the gates of the Forbidden City. But the daring blow he trumpeted was in fact a limp ministerial decree, announcing a ban on TikTok, a popular video-sharing platform, and 58 other smartphone apps deemed to have links with China.
India’s ban was officially billed as a defensive measure, meant to protect citizens from possible data-mining by “elements hostile to national security”. Few Indians doubt that its real intent is retaliatory. Since June 15th, when some 20 Indian soldiers died during an unarmed clash with Chinese troops at a remote spot on the countries’ ill-defined border, Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, has faced political pressure to hit back at China. Considering that Indians have downloaded TikTok more than 600m times, and that several other targeted Chinese apps also had huge followings, few can have missed the government’s action. Mr Modi has “done something” for all to see to avenge the slain soldiers—although he has also snuffed out an astonishingly popular pastime overnight (see