Info-tech

Ban on Chinese apps: Will comply with govt order, say TikTok, Club Factory

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on July 01, 2020 Published on June 30, 2020

Govt committee to meet with app companies

Short video app TikTok, which is likely to be hit the most by the Centre’s ban on 59 Chinese apps, said on Tuesday it is in the process of complying with the government’s order.

It added that the government has invited it to meet its representatives and respond to/ submit some clarifications.

Sources in the government told BusinessLine that the meeting  will be held on Wednesday.

“As per the IT Act, the representatives of these apps and a committee of the government will meet most probably to discuss further course of action,” said a government source.

The official added that the government committee will include Joint Secretaries from Ministry of Electronics and IT, Ministry of Law & Justice, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Director General of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN).

However, the meeting is unlikely to bring  fruitful results for the app companies, said another official requesting anonymity.

In a tweet, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and IT, indicated that the  banned apps are a threat to the national security. “For safety, security, defence, sovereignty and integrity of India and to protect data and privacy of people of India, the government has banned 59 mobile apps.”

‘Complying with law’

Meanwhile, TikTok, in  a statement said that it has democratised the Internet by making it available in 14 Indian languages, with hundreds of millions of users, artistes, story-tellers, educators and performers depending on it for their livelihood, many of whom are first-time Internet users.

“The Government of India has issued an interim order for  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,” said Nikhil Gandhi, Head of TikTok India.

On the government's allegations of the company being a threat to national security, he said: “TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and has not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese government.”

Security standards

Club Factory said it strictly follows all rules and regulations of the region and maintains utmost standards of user data security or privacy of any user. “We have always been willing and continue to remain committed to working with the government to resolve any concerns," it said.

‘Thanks to govt’

Meanwhile, Indian counterparts of such apps have thanked the government for taking the step. Chingari, an Indian app and a rival to TikTok, said that for a very long time “TikTok has been spying on users and sending back  data to China”.

“We are happy that this step has been finally taken.  We would like to welcome all the users of TikTok to  try our Chingari, which is a 100 per cent India-grown app, and made for  passionate Indians.”

 

Similarly, Berges Malu, Director- Public Policy, ShareChat, an Indian regional social media platform, said: "This is a welcome move from the government against platforms that have had serious privacy, cyber security and national security risks. We expect the government to continue their support for the Indian startup ecosystem."

 

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Published on June 30, 2020
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