TikTok, Helo of Bytedance removed from Google, Apple stores in India

Joanna Estrada
June 30, 2020

After the Modi government put a ban on 59 Chinese apps due to concerns mounting over sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country, China said that the Indian government has a responsibility to uphold the legal rights of global investors including those from China. "This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace", announced Ministry of Electronics and IT on Monday.

The banned apps include TikTok, Helo and WeChat.

A senior official at the IT ministry said the prime reason to block the apps under section 69 A of Information Technology Act is to stop the violation and threat to the security of the state and public order and to plug the data leaks.

According to reports, on June 17, Indian intelligence agencies reportedly asked the Narendra Modi government to block or issue advisories against the use of over 50 mobile apps that are linked to China.

At the same time, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians.

Video sharing app TikTok India, one of the 59 mobile applications blocked by the central government on Monday, said it had not shared any Indian users' information with "any foreign government, including the Chinese government".

"The government believes these are data-mining apps that compromise the user's data and national security", said Salman Waris, managing partner at New Delhi-based specialist technology law firm TechLegis Advocates & Solicitors.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps. "The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues", the order further stated.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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