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

Lawrence Kim
July 1, 2020

Earlier on Tuesday, TikTok app became unavailable for download on Apple's App Store and Google Play Store in India. While the app is delisted from app stores, users who have it installed on their phone are still able to use it.

The unprecedented ban on the 59 apps took place against the backdrop of strained relations between China and India and came days after a border clash in the Himalayas left 20 Indian soldiers dead.

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 which have locations outside India.

Informing about the surge in downloads of their app by new users, Chingari co-founder Sumit Ghosh tweeted on Tuesday: "All previous records will be shattered today!"

Why has TikTok been removed?

TikTok "continued to comply with data privacy and security requirements under Indian law" and had not shared any information of users in India with "any foreign government, including the Chinese government". Nikhil Gandhi, who oversees TikTok's operations in India, said the firm was "in the process" of complying with India's order and was looking forward to engage with lawmakers in the nation to assuage their concerns. The viral app added: "if we are requested to in the future we would not do so".

Yes, this has happened before and this is not the first time an app has been banned in India.

"As the largest Indian Lifestyle Social App we will continue to ensure that the privacy and data of users will be protected and will remain within the boundaries of our nation". TikTok's parent company ByteDance had filed a counter-affidavit and appealed to the apex court against the high court's order.

A TikTok India statement gave the impression that the ban was provisional and the IT Ministry has asked it to give "clarifications".

What's the scale of impact of this move?

The Indian government's dramatic announcement caught many off the guard and could have a chilling effect on strengthening business ties between the two Asian countries, analysts told Caixin.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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