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Chinese app ban: TikTok says ready to store data locally, denies breach of user privacy

Company says it's committed to complying with local data laws and privacy requirements and that it's working with government to provide clarifications to allay concerns

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | July 29, 2020 | Updated 11:00 IST
Chinese app ban: TikTok says ready to store data locally, denies breach of user privacy
Centre had banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including TikTok, Shein, UC Browser, and BeautyPlus on June 29, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country

With an attempt to regain trusts, ByteDance that owns the now-blocked Chinese app TikTok, has told the government it's ready to store data in India but denies any breach of user privacy and sovereignty or integrity.

The Centre had banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including TikTok, Shein, UC Browser, and BeautyPlus on June 29, saying they were prejudicial to the "sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country".

Responding to a detailed questionnaire of over 70 questions from the information technology ministry, TikTok said it's committed to complying with local data laws and privacy requirements. In its query after the ban, the Centre had sought details about these companies' data management practices, security features, and their data collection and processing policy.

"We have submitted our response to the government and are working with them to provide clarifications to allay the concerns they have. Throughout our operations, we have demonstrated an unequivocal commitment to complying with local laws, including data privacy and security requirements," a TikTok spokesperson said, reported The Times of India.

TikTok has also reportedly conveyed its plan to set up data centres in India; so far, Indian TikTok users' data is mainly stored in third-party servers in the US and Singapore. The company has also reportedly shown its intention to build a global engineering centre in India, which would cater to global products.

Following the ban on 59 Chinese apps, the government this week banned 47 more Chinese apps. The list of banned apps includes TikTok Lite, Helo Lite, SHAREit Lite, BIGO Lite, and VFY Lite. These are primarily the variants of the apps banned last month and are reported to have violated data and privacy issues. These apps are not available for download on Play Store and App Store in India.

As India tightens noose around Chinese companies in the backdrop of escalating India-China border tensions, the Centre has reportedly prepared another list of over 250 Chinese apps, including apps linked to Alibaba, which it will examine for any user privacy or national security violations. The list also includes Tencent-backed popular gaming app PUBG.

Also read: Govt warns 59 Chinese apps of serious action if found operating despite ban

Also read: 'Helo Lite, ShareIt Lite, Bigo Lite': Govt to ban more Chinese apps

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