TikTok Responds to India Ban, Says User Privacy of Highest Importance

01 Juillet, 2020, 06:43 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • TikTok removed from Play Store, App Store, company says it's in process of complying with govt order

The short-video platform TikTok has become China's latest homegrown technology company to run into growing resistance from foreign governments wary of perceived ties to Beijing and concerned about protecting user data.

The app, owned by tech unicorn ByteDance Ltd.

The company was hoping to get from 200 to 300 millions users in India by the end of 2020, and that's all but dead if the ban continues. Some users are reporting success, but most are failing to connect with that too.

The fashion brand app, which was amongst the 59 Chinese apps that are set to go off the Indian market was collectively termed as "engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public order". While the app is delisted from app stores, users who have it installed on their phone are still able to use it.

TikTok had been targeted before by Indian regulators. In early 2019, they temporarily removed it from app stores on the concerns it was addictive to teenagers.

This time around, however, the consequences could be more long-lasting.

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The central government's virtual strike of banning Chinese 59 apps has become another cause for disagreement after Beijing asked New Delhi to uphold the legitimate and legal rights of the global investors including Chinese ones.

A day after the Indian government banned Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, similar home-grown apps like Chingari have seen surge in downloads. This notification will now be followed up by specific instructions from the government to internet service providers to block these apps.

In its initial response to the ban TikTok India said it had not shared private information of its users with "any foreign government, including the Chinese government".

"We have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications", said Tik Tok India head Nikhil Gandhi in a statement.

Among other apps that have been banned are Tencent's WeChat, which has been downloaded more than 100 million times on Google's Android, Alibaba's UC Browser and two of Xiaomi's apps. Chinese casualties from the clash were not disclosed.

Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters that India has a responsibility to uphold the rights of Chinese businesses.

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