Short video app TikTok, which is likely to be hit the most by the Centre’s ban on 59 Chinese apps, said on Tuesday it is in the process of complying with the order.
It added, however, that the government has invited it to meet its representatives and respond to/submit some clarifications.
“The Government of India has issued an interim order for the blocking of 59 apps, including TikTok, and we are in the process of complying with it. We have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications,” said Nikhil Gandhi, Head of TikTok India.
He said TikTok has democratised the internet by making it available in 14 Indian languages, with hundreds of millions of users, artistes, story-tellers, educators and performers depending on it for their livelihood, many of whom are first-time internet users.
On the government’s allegations of the company being a threat to national security, he said: “TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and has not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese government.”
“Further, if we are requested to in the future, we would not do so. We place the highest importance on user privacy and integrity,” he said.
According to a government statement on Monday, it had received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps. It therefore decided to ban 59 apps including TikTok, Shareit, UC Browser and Cam Scanner.
Some other apps that have been banned include Kwai, Baidu map, DU battery saver, Likee, YouCam makeup, Mi Community, Virus Cleaner, Club Factory, Newsdog, WeChat, Weibo, Xender,We Meet, Sweet Selfie, Baidu Translate and QQ Launcher.
Indian firms thank govt
Meanwhile, Indian counterparts of such apps have thanked the government for taking the step. Chingari, an Indian app and a rival of TikTok, said that for a very long time “TikTok has been spying on users and sending back the data to China”.
“We are happy that this step has been finally taken. And we assure we would like to welcome all the users of TikTok to come and try our Chingari, which is a 100 per cent India grown app, and made for the passionate Indians.”
Similarly, Berges Malu, Director- Public Policy, ShareChat, an Indian regional social media platform, said: “This is a welcome move from the government against platforms that have had serious privacy, cyber security and national security risks. We expect the government to continue their support for the Indian startup ecosystem.”
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