On Monday June 29 the Union government announced a ban on use of 59 Chinese mobile applications in India. This list includes top social media platforms such as TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser, ShareIT, Clubfactory amongst others.
The Government has taken to this step amidst rising tension between India and China since the last two weeks. Following many complaints about personal data being exposed and transferred abroad without authority, this ban has been imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.
List of 59 apps banned by Government of India "which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”. pic.twitter.com/p6T2Tcd5rI— ANI (@ANI) June 29, 2020
This step by India could lead to other countries also following the cue and taking a step against these apps. This move will also ensure safety and sovereignty of India's cyberspace, and have some major implications on the revenue that China earned through these.
Many Indian app companies have supported this major step as it will help them promote their Indian versions in the Indian market now.
InMobi, owner of the video app Roposo competes with TikTok and said the move would open up the market for its platform. ShareChat, another Indian social networking platform also welcomed this move.
Bolo Indya's co-founder and CEO Varun Saxena said “We welcome the decision as we resonate the concerns raised by the government. This is the opportunity for Bolo Indya and other Indian apps to deliver value, keeping Indian culture and data security at the highest priority,”
This will impact one in three smartphone users and the major impact will be seen on TikTok, Clubfactory and UC Browser. The cumulative users of these banned apps in India is about 500 million (50 Crore). TikTok alone has more than 100 million users.
Research firm Sensor Tower estimates the 59 banned apps have accumulated 490 Crore downloads from Apple Inc's India App Store and Alphabet Inc's Google Play since January 2014, including 75 crore so far this year.
Immediately after this announcement was made, TikTok released their statement saying they don't pass any information to any foreign government including China and clarifications for the same have been submitted to the government.
In a statement, TikTok India head Nikhil Gandhi is heard persuading the government to change its stance on the TikTok app “TikTok has democratised the internet by making it available in 14 Indian languages, with hundreds of million of users, artists, story-tellers, educators and performers depending on it for their livelihood, many of whom are first time internet users”
TikTok employees 2,000 people in India, who may also feel the impact of this decision.
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