According to the press release, Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has now banned WeChat, TikTok and 57 other apps as they believe that the apps are “engaged in activities ... prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India.”
This has to be a huge financial loss for TikTok owners considering India is one of the top markets for this app. As per the data collected from SensorTower in April, around 2 billion downloads were from India. TikTok Chief of India has denied sharing of user information with the Chinese government and WeChat has not commented on this matter.
However, this isn’t the first time the great country of India has banned TikTok. If you don't know, last year, the Indian government has asked Apple and Google to remove the app from their stores after raising concerns over pornography. In fact, some lawmakers suggest that explicit content degrades the Indian culture. Anyway, the ban was eventually lifted after one week.
The current scenario isn’t far from understanding because if you put two and two together, you’ll understand how the decision to ban TikTok came together. As you know, India and China are currently under immense pressure.
Earlier this month, China became the reason for the death of 20 Indian Soldiers at the border. We’re not entirely sure so as to how the ban of TikTok will play out in the future and whether or not the geological situation has any relation to the ban. But it can’t be denied that TikTok has always been under fire because of security concerns.
Last year in February, TikTok paid $5.7 million to the Federal Trade Commission as the app, violated COPPA – a children's privacy law. Basically, the app was allowing children below the age of 13 to sign up on the app, and that too, without the consent of the parent.
However, things are considerably better now and more parental control is present.
In addition to this, last week, users of iOS 14 (beta version) realized that TikTok was trying to access content that was present on their device’s clipboards – this was seriously alarming because TikTok had already pledged to stop this act a couple of months ago.
How far India needs to go to save its sovereignty or is it actually about sovereignty or something else?