In a statement given to Bar & Bench, a TikTok India spokesperson said that the company has “no plans to pursue such action. We are committed to working with the Indian government to address its concerns.”
In its statement posted on Twitter, TikTok reiterated its commitment to “comply with the laws and regulations of the government of India. Ensuring the data sovereignty, security and privacy of our users has always been and will continue to be a top priority for us.”
Telecom Operators Told To Block Banned Chinese Apps
Meanwhile, India has instructed telecom operators and internet service providers (ISPs) to immediately “block access” to the 59 Chinese apps that were banned by the government on Monday citing data privacy concerns.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), in notices issued late on Tuesday, also warned internet operators of legal action if they failed to comply with the government’s order.
India, this week, banned several Chinese apps, some of them very popular such as ByteDance’s TikTok which had more than 120 Mn monthly active users in the country, Alibaba’s UC Browser and Tencent’s WeChat, saying they were engaged in activities “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India.” India’s move came amid growing resentment against China after border clashes between the two countries last month.
Just as the DoT issued the order for telecom operators, most of the banned Chinese apps which were still available for download till Wednesday morning, disappeared from the Google Play Store by evening.
Meanwhile, telecom operators are finding ways to block access to these banned applications for those who had downloaded the apps before the ban.
Banned Chinese Apps Consider Shifting Servers To India
Some of the banned Chinese apps are reportedly considering shifting their servers to India, in an attempt to assuage the government’s concerns about the data of Indian users being sent offshore. By having servers in India, these apps might be able to convince the government that the data of Indian users isn’t being released to any foreign government, as many claims seem to suggest.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has assured the makers of the banned apps that they will be given an opportunity, as per the provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act to present their case and clarify their position.