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ByteDance’s TikTok, Helo disappear from Apple and Google’s app stores in India after Govt bans 59 Chinese apps

Free Press Journal 2020-06-30 11:24:42

After the Narendra Modi-led Central Government on Monday banned 59 Chinese apps citing 'safety, security, defence, sovereignty and integrity of India', Bytedance owned apps - TikTok and Helo - have disappeared from the App Store and Google Play. However, other banned apps like UC Browser, Likee, Mi community, WeChat, Club Factory, CamScanner, and Shein are still available on the platforms.

These 59 banned apps account for 5 per cent of total installs on India’s App Store and Google Play in Q2, 2020, and have seen about 330 million downloads in the country in Q2, 2020, reported Livemint.

Meanwhile, TikTok on Tuesday morning released a statement and said that they have been invited to meet with government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications. The head of TikTok India, Nikhil Gandhi said that they continue 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.

Here is their full statement:

"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. Further if we are requested to in the future we would not do so. We place the highest importance on user privacy and integrity.

TikTok has democratized the internet by making it available in 14 Indian languages, with hundreds of millions of users, artists, story-tellers, educators and performers depending on it for their livelihood, many of whom are first time internet users."