TikTok is one of 59 Chinese apps that have been banned by the government of India over privacy concerns.
TikTok has responded to the India ban saying it will comply with the order and meet with the concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications. Beijing-based TikTok which is owned by ByteDance has also reiterated that it doesn’t share data of Indian users with China.
“The government of India has issued an interim order for the blocking of 59 apps, including TikTok and we are in the process of complying with it. We have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications,” Nikhil Gandhi who is head of TikTok India said in a statement.
“TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and has not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese government. Further if we are requested to in the future we would not do so. We place the highest importance on user privacy and integrity.”
TikTok is one of 59 apps with links to China that have been banned by the government of India over privacy concerns. More precisely, all these apps (the list also includes the likes of UC Browser, Shareit, CamScanner and WeChat) have been deemed a national security threat for allegedly engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.
“There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens,” the the ministry of information technology said in a press release, adding that the “government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices.”
Following the order, Google and Apple will have to remove TikTok and other apps included in the list from the Play Store and App Store. Active users will meanwhile be restricted from using these apps via ISP (telco) channels. Unless someone decides to sideload these apps or use a VPN to bypass the ban, there will be no other official way to run TikTok (or any of the 59 apps) on a mobile phone in India until further notice.
The ramifications if someone goes against the ban and uses any of these apps in India going forward aren’t known yet since the government hasn’t made these apps “illegal”, though it is clear, that Indians are strongly advised against doing that for their own privacy and security.
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