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TikTok is back in India? Don't believe everything you receive on WhatsApp

Days after TikTok and other 58 Chinese apps were banned in India, a WhatsApp message claiming that the app is back in the country is doing the rounds

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | July 6, 2020 | Updated 14:04 IST

Highlights

  • WhatsApp message claiming that the TikTok app is back in the country is doing the rounds.
  • While the app remains blocked and banned in India, the cybercriminals are circulating the malware called TikTok Pro.
  • Users are advised against downloading any APK file as the can harm you in many ways than imagined.

Days after TikTok and other 58 Chinese apps were banned in India, a WhatsApp message claiming that the app is back in the country is doing the rounds. But all that you read on the Internet is not true and this definitely isn't. The message seems like another attempt by cybercriminals to take advantage of the TikTok ban and lure users into clicking the harmful link to acquire their personal data. So if you come across any such message, ignore it completely.

First spotted by TOI, the message claiming that TikTok has been relaunched in India as TikTok Pro has been doing the rounds. While the app remains blocked and banned in India, the cybercriminals are circulating the malware called TikTok Pro. "Enjoy Tiktok video and create creative videos once again. Now TikTok is only available in (TikTok pro) So Download from below." Just below the message, a link to the TikTok APK file has been shared. If you click on the, you will be able to download the app that has TikTok's icon. Post which it will ask you for permission to access your camera, gallery, and other. However, despite accessing your pictures, it will not function.

It is important to note that the app is not available on Google Play Store and if you end you downloading it from a non-secure platform, you might end up sharing your users IDs of other social media platforms and other sensitive data. So unless you receive a message from a verified source such as WhatsApp or TikTok itself, do not pay any heed to the malware that you receive through a message. Users are advised against downloading any APK file as the can harm you in many ways than imagined.

In a massive blow to China, 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, UC Browser, Shareit, CamScanner, and others were banned in India by the government. Soon after the ban was announced, all the 59 apps were removed from Google Play Store and App Store. TikTok had even stopped working for some users the day, the ban was announced.

While it was being speculated that the clashes between India and China at the Galwan Valley were the reason behind the banning of Chinese apps, the government said that the decision was taken due to security and privacy reasons.

Out of all the apps that were banned, TikTok had one of the largest user bases in India with over 200 million users. But now with TikTok gone, Made in India apps like Chingari and Mitron are witnessing a surge in downloads.

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