TikTok on Tuesday said it is in the process of complying with the government’s order on blocking of the app, and asserted that it has not shared information of Indian users with any foreign government, including that of China. The short video-sharing company said it has been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications.
India on Monday banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country. Meanwhile, TikTok app has been taken down from Google Play store and Apple App store. According to sources, TikTok has taken down the app from these app stores on its own.
"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 continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and have not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese Government. Further, if we are requested to in the future, we could not do so. We place the highest importance on user privacy and integrity," Gandhi added.
The Centre's ban on 59 apps with Chinese links comes amid rising tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh.
The Ministry of Information Technology blocked these apps by invoking its power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act and the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.
The ministry said "there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians". There were also reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India, the government stated.