Will comply with India ban, not sharing user data with China: TikTok

Chinese short-video making app TikTok on Tuesday said it is in the process of complying with the Indian government order to ban 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, and is not sharing any data of Indian users with the Chinese government

Jun 30, 2020
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Chinese short-video making app TikTok on Tuesday said it is in the process of complying with the Indian government order to ban 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, and is not sharing any data of Indian users with the Chinese government. India is Tik Tok's largest client with an estimated 120 million users. 

The Indian government on Monday banned apps like TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser and Xiaomi's Mi Community over national security concerns as India-China bilateral relations remain strained after the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese PLA troops in eastern Ladakh.

"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," Nikhil Gandhi, Head of TikTok India, said in a statement, adding that the company has been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications.

"TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and have not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese Government," Gandhi explained.

The app disappeared from both Google Play Store and Apple App Store on Tuesday. There was no official communication from Google or Apple on its removal from their respective stores.

ByteDance-owned TikTok said that it places the highest importance on user privacy and integrity.

"TikTok has democratized the internet by making it available in 14 Indian languages, with hundreds of millions of users, artists, story-tellers, educators and performers depending on it for their livelihood, many of whom are first-time internet users," said Gandhi.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Monday issued a list of 59 Chinese apps that are now banned in the country.

"These measures have been undertaken since there is credible information that these apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order," said a MeitY statement.

The ministry received complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorised manner to servers that have locations outside India.

The MeitY said the move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile users.

Other Chinese apps in the banned list are Club Factory, SHAREit, Likee, Mi Video Call (Xiaomi), Weibo, Baidu, Bigo Live and others (IANS)

Earlier this month, Indian intelligence agencies red flagged these Chinese apps over safety and privacy issues of users. 

The report comes amid growing chorus from Indian activists to boycott Chinese products due to the border tensions between the two countries in Ladakh.

The recommendations of the intelligence agencies have backing of the National Security Council Secretariat which determined that certain China-linked applications could be detrimental to the country's security, said the report citing an unnamed government official (IANS)

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