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Viral video-sharing app TikTok has been removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India after the country banned 59 Chinese apps on Monday. However, those who already have the app installed continue to have access to it.
India and China are at loggerheads right now due to an ongoing border dispute. Because of this, there’s a widespread call to boycott Chinese apps and goods in the country and the removal of TikTok from Indian app stores is a direct repercussion of that. According to the Indian government, the short-video app, along with 58 others, engages in “activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.”
Weirdly enough, other Chinese apps like SHAREit, UC Browser, and WeChat which are also on the list of banned apps continue to remain available on both Google’s and Apple’s app stores.
In response to these sudden sanctions from the Indian government, TikTok posted the following statement today on its Twitter account.
From what we can read, there’s still a chance that TikTok might be reinstated on app stores in India. The company clearly states that it will be meeting with government stakeholders to review the situation and that it stands by its data privacy and security practices.
However, it’s not always been a smooth ride for TikTok in India. The app was also banned in the country last year for allowing pornographic and sleazy content. It then undertook several steps to ensure the safety of its users in order to be reinstated.
For now, the Indian government has said that the ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps is an interim measure. It will give these apps an opportunity to present their case before a committee including representatives from various ministers. The committee will then make recommendations on whether the apps should remain banned or should be cleared for use.