Indian youngsters got a heartache when the Central Government of India banned TikTok along with 58 other Chinese mobile apps on Monday. Citing national security concerns, the Centre is leaving no stone unturned to teach China a hard lesson. While India has vowed to retaliate against the global tech power, do you really think this is why TikTok is banned in India? Read on to find the truth.
Is TikTok really banned in India?
After the geo-political clash between India and China, the Govt. of India decided to ban the use of all Chinese apps to hit the adversary hard and loud. Along with promoting #VoteForLocal, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a statement that said, “Chinese apps were stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India”. However, the concern is that the app is still accessible for people who have already installed it. It’s only that new users won’t be able to install it anymore, because it has been removed from all app stores.
With the ban, millions will lose a sense of security – financial and emotional – especially during this pandemic.
The real reason behind TikTok’s ban in India
Cyber-security analysts have warned the Indian Govt. about the risks Chinese apps and telecom companies may pose, citing the country’s National Intelligence Law. The law holds Chinese companies legally responsible for providing access, cooperation or support for Chinese intelligence gathering. The ban highlights how technology companies are increasingly becoming entangled in broader geopolitical disputes. In December 2019, the United States Navy as well as the U.S. Army banned TikTok from all government-issued devices.
The question is, will the TikTok ban be permanent? It’s worth recalling that the Chinese app was banned in India in 2019 as well, on the order of the Madras High Court. However, it lasted only a few days as the court vacated the ban soon after. Madras High Court cited that the app encourages pornography and plays with the fragile mind of youngsters. It had also raised concerns about young children being exposed to sexual predators. However, the ban was removed soon after TikTok’s lawyer argued that there cannot be a system where something which is statutorily permissible becomes judicially impermissible.
Impact of the TikTok ban in India
There is a tremendous economic impact of TikTok in India. To start with, the app has over 100 million active users in India. Even new social media platforms like Helo, Likee and Bigo Live are immensely popular among the millennial who are not comfortable in English. Moreover, most of these platforms have Indian curators and creators who earn their income from these apps. Many of these apps have offices and employees in India and the ban poses a serious threat to the livelihoods of these individuals.
Latest update on TikTok ban in India
The escalating tension between India and China doesn’t seem to end. According to an Indian Express report, China has retaliated India’s custom hurdles of its manufactured products with equal force. Indian exporters are now having a tough time with their consignments at the Chinese ports.
TikTok is considering legal options against the ban on the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform in India. The ban has startled millions of users across India, who are now unable to use the banned apps. In the years since it is launch, the app became a platform for Indians of all ages and classes – from housewives to police constables – who sing, dance, and perform for their followers. The app also helped many ordinary Indians turn into social media stars and provided an apt platform to showcase their talent.
This fight has impacted many. There is still no official statement released from the Chinese government on the ban.