It was India that first banned Chinese app TikTok over security concerns

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) As the US House of Representatives passed legislation that could lead to a ban on TikTok that is being used by over 170 million Americans, it was the Indian government which first took the decision to block the Chinese short-video making platform in the world.

On June 29, 2020, TikTok, controlled by Chinese giant ByteDance, was banned in India.

The country then was one of the largest markets for the social media platform outside of China.

The government blocked TikTok along with 59 other Chinese apps citing security concerns. Since then, the country has banned more than 300 Chinese apps, including WeChat, Shareit, Helo, Likee, and others. The government has also blocked several betting and loan apps in the last few years, which were traced to Chinese links.

All these apps were found violating Section 69 of the IT Act and contained materials which were deemed as a threat to India’s sovereignty and integrity.

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After the ban, TikTok sacked its entire India staff — about 40 employees.

In 2020, the Indian Army also asked its personnel to delete 89 mobile apps, that included several Chinese apps, from their smartphones to curtail leakage of information.

TikTok is considered a security threat because of its links to the Chinese government and lawmakers and officials have said that Beijing can access data on people through the app.

TikTok has argued that the data on Americans is stored in the US.

In November last year, Nepal announced a ban on TikTok , saying that its content “were detrimental to social harmony”.

Meanwhile, India now has reached more than 250 million users on short-form video platforms, with around 70 per cent of them coming from tier-2 cities and other semi urban and rural centres — often from middle and high-income backgrounds, according to latest reports.

–IANS

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