- Indian government bans these 59 Chinese applications including TikTok
- The Government says it received “credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India”
- TikTok has replied to India’s decision of banning the application
On Monday night, the Government Of India (GOI) announced the ban of 59 Chinese application in the country which also includes TikTok. Today, the popular app known for its shot-videos has been taken down from both Apple App Store and Google Play Store in the country.
Though the people who have TikTok installed on their device can continue to use the application and post content on the platform but officially the application has been banned in the country.
TikTok has around 119 million or 11.9 crore active users in India and was amongst the top 10 application on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Even though the users who have TikTok already installed on their device can continue using the app, it cannot be downloaded anymore. Most of the other Chinese apps banned in India are still available for download.
If you have installed the application on your device, you will still be able to see the applications on the Google Play Store, however, when you delete the application from your device, it also stops being shown on the Play Store.
Meanwhile, TikTok has responded to the GOI’s decision and said that TikTok has been invited to meet with the concerned stakeholders of the government for an opportunity to respond and submit clarification.
In a post on Twitter, TikTok India’s Head, Nikhil Gandhi said, “,We have been invited to meet concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarification. TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law,”.
pic.twitter.com/0DZQ3Ucqcl— TikTok India (@TikTok_IN) June 30, 2020
This is not the first time TikTok has been banned in the country, previously, TikTok was blocked for promoting pornography content and concerns over privacy, however, the app was relisted on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store a few days later.
The government is yet to disclose how the ban of the application will work.
In the official press release the Ministry of Information Technology, on banning the 59 Chinese applications, said, “invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps ( see Appendix) since in view of the information available they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”
The press release also read, “upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices. This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure the safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.”
There are many short-video applications of Indian origin available on the Google Play Store and also the Apple App Store including Bolo Indiya, Chingari, Mitron, Roposo just to name a few.
Chingari App’s Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Sumit Ghosh said, commenting on the ban of TikTok in India, “This is a very good step taken by the Govt of India and the IT Ministry of India, for a very long time TikTok has been spying on users and sending back the data to china. We are happy that this step has been finally taken. I thank and congratulate Narendra Modi sir. And we assure we would like to welcome all the users of TikTok to come and try our Chingari, which is a 100% India grown app, and made for the passionate Indians.”
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Law Miniter tweeted, “For safety, security, defence, sovereignty & integrity of India and to protect data & privacy of people of India the Government has banned 59 mobile apps,”.
For safety, security, defence, sovereignty & integrity of India and to protect data & privacy of people of India the Government has banned 59 mobile apps.— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) June 29, 2020
Along with TikTok, the government banned 58 Chinese apps which include ShareIt, UC Browser, Cam Scanner, Club Factory, WeChat, Bigo Live, Vmate, Mail Master, Weibo, Hel, Likee, Mi Video call, Mi Community, Xender, Shein, Baidu Map amongst others.
The Joint Managing Partner at J Sagar Associates, Vivek Chandy commented on the decision made by the Indian Government said, “The access to, and storage and usage of, data of Indian users by several of these apps was apparently a concern for some time already.
While the protection of that data may be the ostensible reason for this move, its impact on the companies concerned will remain to be seen. In addition to this move, the government should look at strengthening India’s data privacy and protection laws.” Let us take a look at the complete list of 59 Chinese Apps banned in India.
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