TikTok and other 59 Chinese apps that were banned by the Indian government(BJP), citing threat to the country’s security and society. The Ministry of Information and Technology has stated that these Chinese apps were in clear violation of privacy and shared their data on servers outside of India. The government issued a notice to Apple and Google to restrict the apps for Indian users from their respective app stores, and are also in talks with Internet Service Providers and telecom operators to help enforce the ban.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is an chinese app that allows its users to upload some short videos with audio and other visual effects. This TikTok app is owned by a Chinese company named Bytedance and it was the same previously known as musical.ly. This chinese app allows members to create and showcase their short videos on a global platform. At the same time, members can also view videos from other members.
Why was TikTok banned in India?
The High Court issued an interim ban on TikTok after it found that the platform hosted pornographic content. The High Court states that it was worried about the content affecting children in TikTok and luring sexual predators to attack them. Until a conclusion was reached, the Court issued a temporary ban on the app.
Will TikTok come back?
This is not the first time that the Chinese social media platform has received a suspension in India. Earlier, TikTok was banned in the country for allegedly exposing children to pornographic content and some privacy concerns, although it was soon reinstated on the Google Play Store and App Store.
Following the ban, TikTok has claimed that it complies with all the data privacy and security requirements of the Indian law. It also claims that they will maintain the decorum and be in compliance with the Indian law in the future as well.
Nikhil Gandhi, Head of TikTok, India, has also responded to the ban saying that the company has been invited to meet with the concerned government authorities for a chance to respond and submit their clarification on the matter.
Users who have TikTok installed on their devices are still able to use the app despite being banned in India. However, new users won’t be able to download TikTok anymore as it has been removed from both the Google Play Store and App Store. This means that users who have the app installed on their devices will be able to keep using it, for now, but, if they uninstall it in the future, it will no longer be available to download again. The app, however, will not receive any further updates and patches which will likely make it redundant.
TikTok has global data operations, including in the U.S. and European Union, and is financially backed by global venture capital, including SoftBank, Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic. On Wednesday, Mayer told Indian employees that the company “has encountered an unfortunate challenge…and is working with stakeholders to address their concerns,” ET reported. Besides TikTok, India banned 58 other Chinese mobile applications, including WeChat, citing “national security” as the reason for taking them offline. ShareIT, UC browser and shopping app Clubfactory are some of the lesser known, but prominent China apps used in India, that have been blocked amid rising tensions between India and China along the border, where both countries are battling over land rights. The move could impact TikTok in the U.S., where some in Washington are gunning for the app to be banned here, too. So far, no word on the U.S. following in Delhi’s footsteps on this one.
One Indian official told the ET today that, “These apps have been there for a long time, and there are some privacy and security issues with them including risks of data going out of the country.” For TikTok, if Mayer can woo India into keeping the app, providing they bring all the data of local users home, then it may very well survive the ongoing political storm threatening India and China relations.