Tiktok India has said it has been invited by the Indian government to issue clarifications after the app was banned, along with 58 other Chinese apps, over national security and user privacy concerns. The ban comes in the wake of the violent clash between Indian and Chinese troops at the Galwan Valley along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). That, however, was not cited as the reason behind banning these apps by the IT Ministry. This move does not come as a surprise as anti-China sentiment has been at its peak in the country following the Galwan valley incident in Ladakh.
Here's everything you need to know about the ban on Chinese apps:
- The Indian government announced a ban on 59 Chinese apps such as TikTok, CamScanner, UCBrowser, Shareit, WeChat, Shein, Likee, and many more on Monday. Internet Service Providers have also been asked to curb access and data to these apps.
- The Centre has made it clear that this is an interim ban and the banned apps, including Tiktok, have been invited by the government to respond and submit clarifications.
- Head of TikTok India, Nikhil Gandhi, says: "We have been invited to meet with the concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications."
- Gandhi said the company's team of around 2,000 employees in India is committed to working with the government to demonstrate "our dedication to user security and our commitment to the country overall".
- TikTok's fate in India hangs in balance as of now because the decision to ban or continue the app will be based on the clarifications submitted by TikTok.
- TikTok India said they never shared any India user-related information with the Communist government in China and will never do so in future as they place the "highest importance on user privacy and integrity."
- Contrary to the popular belief that this ban on Chinese apps underscores the violent clash at Galwan valley that claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers, the IT ministry said that these apps were cancelled as they "are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order."
- This ban is said to deliver a huge bolt out of the blue to TikTok's parent company ByteDance as India is among the biggest markets for TikTok, which has roughly 200 million users in India.
- This is not the first time that TikTok was banned in India. The short-video platform was banned in 2019 for a brief period of time over pornographic content on the app.
- In April, TikTok hit 2 billion downloads from Apple App Store and Google Play Store combined. Out of that India accounted for 611 million downloads or about 30.3 per cent. According to mobile intelligence firm Sensor Tower, India even surpassed China in terms of downloads. China, where the app originates, accounted for 196.6 million downloads, or 9.7 per cent -- not including third-party Android store installs.