Video-sharing app TikTok, one of the 59 Chinese apps banned by India earlier this week, tried to publicly dissociate itself from China, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters.
In a letter to the Indian government this week, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer wrote that the Chinese government had never requested data of Indian users, nor would the company turn it over if asked.
“I can confirm that the Chinese government has never made a request to us for the TikTok data of Indian users,” Mayer wrote. “If we do ever receive such a request in the future, we would not comply.” He added that Indian users data was stored in servers in Singapore.
According to an Inc42 report, Mayer had requested a meeting with IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to explain the app’s data-sharing practices. Mayer, in his letter, also shared plans for setting up an engineering centre and developing indigenous products in India.
India, on June 29, banned 59 Chinese apps, including popular ones such as ByteDance-owned TikTok, Alibaba-owned UC Browser and Tencent’s WeChat, saying that the app-makers were engaged in activities prejudicial to the “sovereignty and integrity of India.”
TikTok Says No Plans To Pursue Legal Action
Later, Indian officials confirmed that the companies would be given an opportunity to present their case and clarify their position, according to the provisions of the Information Technology Act.
An inter-ministerial committee has been set up to investigate data-sharing practices of the banned Chinese apps and will begin hearings in the matter next week.
Legal action against the ban was unlikely to be successful since the government had cited national security as one of the reasons for making the decision.
Days after its ban, TikTok India clarified that the company had no plans to pursue legal action against the ban, but was committed to working with and addressing the concerns of the government.
On Wednesday, Mayer, in an address to the company’s 2000 employees in India, said that the company would do “everything in its power to restore the positive experiences and opportunities that they can be proud of.”
With 200 Mn users and more than 120 Mn active monthly users, India is the video-sharing platform’s largest overseas market.