The fresh notices have been isssued by the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) to TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps to impose a permanent ban on these apps in India, a person aware of the development said.
“The government is not satisfied with the response/explanation given by these companies. Hence, the ban for these 59 apps is permanent now,” the person cited above said, adding that the noticed was issued last week.
59 apps, including Bytedance’s TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser and Tencent’s WeChat were banned by MeitY in June, citing that they are ‘engaged in activities, which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order’.
The apps were banned under section 69A of the Information Technology Act and the government gave these companies an opportunity to explain their case regarding compliance to privacy and security requirements, before imposing a permanent ban. A detailed questionnaire was also sent by the ministry to these companies.
The government banned another 208 Chinese apps during last six months. The ban was imposed amid border tensions between India and China has refused to die down over the despite several rounds of negotiations at the diplomatic and military levels.
“We are evaluating the notice and will respond to it as appropriate. TikTok was among the first companies to comply with the government of India directive issued on June 29, 2020. We continually strive to comply with local laws and regulations and do our best to address any concerns the government may have. Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users remains to be our topmost priority,” a TikTok spokesperson said.