The Indian Ministry of Ectronics and Information Technology has recently issued a new notice to completely ban TikTok in India along with other 58 apps. The ban came right after the company representatives of apps like ByteDance’s video-sharing app TikTok, Tencent’s WeChat and Alibaba’s UC Browser were unable to convince the government with their responses over key matters like privacy and data security.
The permanent ban is under Section 69A of the IT Act, accusing the apps of engaging in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of the country. Until now, users in India were able to download and use some applications while their developers were building a defense case to stop TikTok ban in India.
As per the ministry’s June order, the apps under the question were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”The order, which India referred to as a “digital strike”, followed a skirmish with Chinese troops at a disputed Himalayan border site when 20 Indian soldiers were killed.
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TikTok ban in India also throws light on the grim situation of other popular apps, including PUBG amongst others. PUBG Mobile had attempted to rework on the ban by launching a new, India-only version, PUBG Mobile India which was announced in November, after hiring new staff in India. Yet, later responses to RTIs showed that MEIT had given no permission to the relaunch PUBG mobile game in India.
In September, India banned another 118 mobile apps, including Tencent’s popular video game PUBG, to put immense pressure on Chinese technology companies following the standoff at the border.
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After TikTok ban in India, a company representative was quoted as saying that the company was evaluating the notice and will respond to it as appropriate. He said, “We are evaluating the notice and will respond to it as appropriate. TikTok was among the first companies to comply with the Government of India directive issued on June 29, 2020. We continually strive to comply with local laws and regulations and do our best to address any concerns the government may have. Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users remains to be our topmost priority.”
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