TikTok has been finally removed from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in India. This comes after the government of India announces ban on 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, UC Browser, Shareit and more. The app ban was announced on Monday by the Ministry of Information and Technology. These apps have been banned over concerns related to the threat to India's security and society.
Justifying the move, the government has said that these apps violated the privacy of users and stored their data outside the country. Following this, the government issued a notice to Apple and Google to remove all 59 Chinese apps. This means these apps will no longer be available on the Indian version of the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Not only that, but the users will also not be able to use them even if they have the app already installed as the government has also asked ISPs and telecom companies to help enforce the ban.
Commenting on the ongoing situation, Nikhil Gandhi, Head of TikTok India, said, "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. We have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications. 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. Further if we are requested to in the future we would not do so. We place the highest importance on user privacy and integrity."
"TikTok has democratized the internet by making it available in 14 Indian languages, with hundreds of millions of users, artists, story-tellers, educators and performers depending on it for their livelihood, many of whom are first time internet users," he further added.