The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has reportedly directed the 59 banned Chinese apps to strictly adhere to the orders or face serious action in case of violation.
People in the know of developments said that the Ministry has written to all the companies concerned and said that making the apps available, directly or indirectly, would violate IT Act and other laws.
The Government had on June 29 banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, Shareit, UC Browser and Xiaomi’s Mi Community over national security concerns in a diplomatic reaction to the Chinese aggression, days after the brutal face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69 A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats decided to block 59 apps since in view of the information available they are “engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public order”.
Upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices, a ministry statement read.
The Government also asserted that this move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users.
Following the ban order, Chinese short-video making app TikTok and vernacular social networking platform Helo, which have millions of users in India, had said they are in the process of complying with the government order to ban 59 Chinese apps and are not sharing any data of Indian users with the Chinese government.
“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.
ByteDance-owned TikTok said that it places the highest importance on user privacy and integrity.
“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.
Meanwhile, Beijing had reached out to India, expressing anxiety about the ban on 59 popular Chinese apps.
Beijing’s mission in India also issued a strong statement accusing India of indulging in “discriminatory practices”.
“India’s measure, selectively and discriminatorily aims at certain Chinese apps on ambiguous and far-fetched grounds, runs against fair and transparent procedure requirements, abuses national security exceptions, and suspects of violating the WTO rules,” the Chinese embassy had said in a statement.