On the 29th of June, 2020 Indian Government banned 59 China originated mobile apps in concern with security and national sovereignty. The ban could be imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology App read which was with relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.
After India banned 59 Chinese apps in the nation, social media app TikTok parted its way from Beijing.
TikTok’s letter to appeal Indian government
Mr. Kevin Mayer, the Chief Executive of TikTok app wrote a letter to the Indian government on the 28th of June that the government of China has never requested user data, and even if they do the company would turn it over. He added that data for Indian users is stored in servers located in Singapore. His quoted statement was “I can confirm that the Chinese government has never made a request to us for the TikTok data of Indian users. even if we do ever receive such a request in the future, we would not comply.”
The letter further highlighted the company’s investment in the region that how the app had developed content in fourteen regional languages and how it was providing employment to more than thirty-five hundred people directly as well as indirectly.
The letter responded to the question of the country’s security by stating “The privacy of our users, and the security and sovereignty of India, are the utmost importance to us.” The letter also did focus on the company’s further plan announcement in the nation, “We have already announced our plans to build a data centre in India.”
A likely meeting has been scheduled soon between the government and the company where the letter will be further discussed.
The ban is unlikely to be revoked soon said a government source to a news agency. The country has cited national security concerns for the ban and lawyers say that a legal challenge is unlikely to be successful.
The status of other apps
The app is not available in China but it is owned by China’s ByteDance. The app has a motive to appeal to a global audience and hence has distanced itself from Chinese roots. After the border face-off with China, along with TikTok, India banned 58 other Chinese apps including WeChat, UC Browser, etc.
The ban on TikTok proved to be beneficial for the other native rivalry apps. The app was supporting the growth of a vast number of TikTok stars and the ban did upset it. Within 48 hours just after the ban, the local similar app Roposo could benefit from twenty-two million new users making it a total of around 80 million and it is expected to grow more in the coming few days.
The product head of Zee Entertainment Enterprises‘ digital unit Zee5, Mr. Rajneel Kumar said that the company is set to launch HiPi, an ad-supported short video platform within the next two months.
Will the nation welcome the app again?
A commitment to spend one billion dollars in the region has been made by the company. It has achieved to become one of the fastest-growing social media apps after its launch in the year 2017. India is said to be the largest market by the user which is further followed by the US.
Many users are still hoping for its retrieval. TikTok India posted an update on a social media platform stating how the app has democratized the internet and how it has always taken the necessary steps to secure the data of its users. Will the company be able to grab its root again in the nation or is it gone forever stays a debatable topic.