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India bans TikTok: How Apple caught Chinese App 'secretly spying' on millions of iPhone users

Free Press Journal 2020-06-30 12:00:37

The Indian government on Monday banned apps like TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser and Xiaomi's Mi Community over national security concerns as India-China bilateral relations remain strained after the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese PLA troops in eastern Ladakh.

"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," Nikhil Gandhi, Head of TikTok India, said in a statement, adding that the company has 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," Gandhi explained.

The app disappeared from both Google Play Store and Apple App Store on Tuesday. There was no official communication from Google or Apple on its removal from their respective stores.

ByteDance-owned TikTok said that it places 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," said Gandhi.