TikTok goes offline in India, alert says ‘complying with government directive’

Joanna Estrada
July 1, 2020

However, the response on social media in India did not match the Chinese embassy's expectations as most users, including those in Punjab, opted to say "bye-bye" and were transiting to other apps since the trigger for the ban is widely understood to be the deaths of Indian soldiers on June 15 and Chinese intransigence in stepping back from the LAC.

"I want to stress that the Chinese government always asks the Chinese businesses to abide by worldwide rules, local laws and regulations in their business cooperation with foreign countries", he said.

Besides Bytedance's wildly popular video sharing app TikTok and Tencent's WeChat, the apps blocked by the government last evening include Alibaba's UC Browser and two of Xiaomi's apps. In the quarter that would end Tuesday, the 59 apps that India has ordered to ban were installed about 330 million times, the firm said.

"With the ongoing geopolitical issue compounded with weaker macroeconomic climate and government thinking the reach to be a security threat has led to this decision of retaliating in a way which is easier and more effective".

So I think that is something which we need to explore and this will also have some kind of an impact on advertising if things become more stringent and stricter as the companies which have direct exposure to China or probably the investee companies from China and the amount of advertising which they do with India today is close to about Rs 3,000 crore, which is nearly 4% to 5% of the overall ad spends.

India has also been irked by China's backing of arch-rival Pakistan and the construction of an economic corridor going through parts of Kashmir controlled by Islamabad but claimed by India. The apps will not disappear from devices, but they will not be able to fetch data and operate in India anymore.

Earlier on Tuesday, TikTok app became unavailable for download on Apple's App Store and Google Play Store in India.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular press briefing that China is "strongly concerned" about the announcement and looking into the situation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has used the country's 500 million internet users - second only to China - as a lure in getting tech giants including Twitter to localize Indians' data.

Following recent clashes along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, India saw a 300 percent jump in hack attacks backed by China-supported hackers, Cyfirma, a Singapore-based cyber research firm, alleged in a recent report.

A day after the Centre banned 59 mobile apps with China links, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that any apps released in the country must adhere to India's data integrity, privacy, sovereignty, and transparency and stressed that the country has to stay "data sovereign".

China and India have long had a prickly relationship. Whether the ban will be permanent is unclear. Both cases sparked discussions on mental health awareness.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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