At the rate TikTok was amassing users, it might have soon succeeded the popularity of many other social media platforms that we have come to love and use over time. But this take-over now looks unlikely, as India bans the short-form video platform along with 58 other Chinese apps that threaten the “sovereignty and integrity, defence of India, security of state and public order.”
The news came on Monday, and on the heels of a border clash between the troops of China and India that led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers. Besides the rising tensions between the two countries, cyber security concerns have also surfaced in the recent past. Allegedly, Chinese apps have been involved in nefarious practices including stealing user data and transferring them abroad without authorisation.
Imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, the ban currently impacts social media platforms like TikTok, Helo, and WeChat; shopping apps like Club Factory and Shein, file sharing app ShareIt, and UC Browser.
Baidu map, Clash of Kings, Likee, Bigo Live, Vigo Video, DU Recorder, DU Cleaner, DU Browser, Cam Scanner, Wonder Camera, and Photo Wonder are among the other mobile applications affected by this move.
Who it affects the most
Undoubtedly, the ban on Chinese apps is going to have an impact on a wide customer base ranging across the 59 apps that have come under the scanner. But it is TikTok, with its 200 million strong user-base in India, that stands to lose the most.
The company in a statement said,
“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. 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."
How Indians are responding to the ban
Despite the wild popularity of TikTok, it looks like the ban on the app has been welcomed by the people of India. Most netizens, in fact, have taken to social media sites like Twitter and Instagram to respond to the news. And unsurprisingly, the response ranges from hilarious memes and tweets to a slew of posts welcoming the decision taken by the government.
Thank youu for saving our country. This Virus named Tik tok should never be allowed again! 🙏 https://t.co/qYEYmOYaSv
— NIA SHARMA (@Theniasharma) June 29, 2020
Trust the decision of banning some apps by the GOI, in the best interest of our country's security, besides Social Media addiction and Mental health are known enemies .. Just a break from them may help detox and introspect!! #BanTikTokInIndia #BanTiktok #dataprotection 🇮🇳 https://t.co/KlHi3Hq1YJ
— AMRITA RAO (@AmritaRao) June 29, 2020
— Kamya Shalabh Dang (@iamkamyapunjabi) June 29, 2020
The Government has actually provided a huge opportunity to tech start ups to leverage the App ban n create new and innovative Apps. If they miss this opportunity they have themselves to blame. This can revive tech jobs in a big way.
— Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (@kiranshaw) June 30, 2020
No better time than now for Indian start ups to raise their innovation game! Also the perfect time for gov't n industry to amp up the "build for India n scale globally" movement with focus on Innovation, Policy, Funding, Trust n Security. @rsprasad @GoI_MeitY @SecretaryMEITY https://t.co/fp2GNxZU2y
— debjani ghosh (@debjani_ghosh_) June 30, 2020
— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) June 29, 2020
And then there were the hillarious tweets and memes which rightly summarizes the mood post TikTok ban:
— meme connections (@meme_connection) June 30, 2020
— prince (@prince13766774) June 29, 2020
— vishakha chouhan (@vishakhahahaa) June 30, 2020
(Edited by Athira Nair)