On Monday, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps in the country that included TikTok, Cam Scanner, Shein, UC Browser, and others. As per a tweet by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, “For safety, security, defense, sovereignty & integrity of India and to protect data & privacy of people of India the Government has banned 59 mobile apps.”
TikTok has become the first app that has been kicked out of Google Play Store and App Store after the announcement. As of now, users who already had the app installed on the phone can use the app just like usual. However, new users will not be able to download the app from the Android and iOS app stores. Users who have an account on TikTok but uninstalled it will also not be able to access the app anymore.
Meanwhile, TikTok has said that it is in the process of complying with the government’s order of banning the app and asserted that it had not shared information of Indian users with any foreign government, including that of China.
The short video-sharing company said it had been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit 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,” Nikhil Gandhi, Head of TikTok, India said.
TikTok added that it continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under the Indian law and has not shared any information of its 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.