Popular short video app TikTok has been taken down from Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The move came after Ministry of Information Technology on Monday night banned 59 Chinese Apps in the country saying they are engaged in activities which are "prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.
Along with TikTok the government also banned apps such as Shareit, UC Browser, WeChat, Shein, Clash of Kings, Helo, Mi Community, Club Factory, Weibo, Xender, ES File Explorer, among others.
In its interim order banning these Chinese apps, the government stated, “invoking it's power under section 69A 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 has decided to block 59 apps since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”
Meanwhile TikTok has responded and said that they are complying with the ban and have been invited to ‘respond and submit clarifications’ to the concerned government stakeholders.
— TikTok India (@TikTok_IN) June 30, 2020
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While users can no longer download TikTok in India, existing users who have already downloaded the app can continue using it to post videos, at least for the time being. The app ranked among top 10 on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store and had a vast user base with more than 119 million active users in India
Though users can no longer download TikTok from Play Store, several other apps on the list such as Shareit, CamScanner, Shein, and Clash of Kings were still available on Google could still be downloaded.
Interestingly, TikTok had been banned several times in the past by authorities in India. The app was officially prohibited for not only promoting obscene contents but also over security and privacy issues. However, each time the app managed to get itself relisted on the Play Store and App Store.
What remains to be seen is how the government proceeds with the ban this time around.
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