India to impose permanent ban on 59 Chinese apps including TikTok

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Updated: January 25, 2021 8:42 PM

The ban was interim, so far, with the government giving these apps time—and opportunity—to furnish a response. Multiple media reports suggest the government remains unsatisfied with the responses these apps have furnished to pacify India’s privacy concerns. As a result, the interim ban will now become permanent.

TikTok banThe Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is said to have sent out notices to the 59 apps under the radar, including Tiktok, last week, informing them about the new development after reviewing their responses.

The government of India is set to impose a ‘permanent’ ban on 59 Chinese mobile applications including TikTok, nearly seven months after issuing show cause notices to them. The ban was interim, so far, with the government giving these apps time—and opportunity—to furnish a response. Multiple media reports suggest the government remains unsatisfied with the responses these apps have furnished to pacify India’s privacy concerns. As a result, the interim ban will now become permanent.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is said to have sent out notices to the 59 apps under the radar, including Tiktok, last week, informing them about the new development after reviewing their responses.

A TikTok spokesperson previously confirmed in a statement given out to news agency PTI, “We are evaluating the notice and will respond to it as appropriate. TikTok was among the first companies to comply with the Government of India directive issued on June 29, 2020. We continually strive to comply with local laws and regulations and do our best to address any concerns the government may have. Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users remains to be our topmost priority.

The government had banned 59 apps with links to China on June 29, 2020 to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace. These apps were banned under section 69A of the Information Technology Act after the government found them “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order,” The main concern was the collection of user data and the unauthorized sending of this data to locations outside of India.

A month later, it had banned 47 more apps for allegedly operating as “clones” of the previously banned apps.

On September 2, the government had banned 118 more Chinese apps, including PUBG Mobile, and in November, 43 new Chinese apps including popular shopping website AliExpress were blocked over similar privacy concerns.

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