Desperate TikTok allays Indian govt's misgivings - but will it be enough?

TikTok dark mode
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TikTok may be banned in India right now. But the under-fire Chinese app has not given up on India, as it seems pretty confident of making a comeback in the country.

While banning TikTok along with 58 other Chinese apps, the Indian government had sought clarifications from those apps on security, safety, and ownership details.

TikTok apparently has submitted its response to the government and is working with it to allay any more misgivings. The government had apparently sent 77 questions to each of the 59 entities whose apps have been banned. 

TikTok India head Nikhil Gandhi has asserted that his company had not shared information of Indian users with any foreign government, nor has it used such data to compromise the integrity of the country.

"Even if we are requested to in the future, we would not do so”, he said in a blog, which ironically is not visible to most Indian viewers as the site is blocked in the country.

"TikTok has demonstrated unequivocal commitment to complying with local laws, including data privacy and security requirements," he added.

TikTok fights on multiple fronts

The Indian government has given the 59 banned apps three weeks with the warning that the ban would become permanent if they failed to respond. 

The government's committee that is handling the issue comprises representatives from the home affairs, electronics and IT, information and broadcasting, and law and justice ministries. Officials from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the country’s nodal cyber security agency are part of the panel. 

Meanwhile, TikTok  has also had to fend off efforts from other similar apps from poaching its talents.

There has been a major hue and cry in America

Kevin Mayer, who is in charge of TikTok's US operation, delivered a sharp criticism of Facebook for rolling a 'copycat' product (Instagram Reels).

For his part, the Indian head Gandhi said TikTok remains committed to its creator community in India.

“Artists, storytellers, educators, and performers from across the country have found not only recognition but also new avenues to livelihood improvement through our platform in India,” he said.

India is one of the most important markets for TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance. TikTok had roughly 200 million registered users in India, and had been downloaded 660 million times since launch two years ago. India accounted for 30% of its overall global downloads.

But since the ban, Indian clones like Reposo and Chingari have stepped into the breach and have made the most out of TikTok's absence.

After the ban of 59 apps, India has further banned 47 apps and 275 more apps are under government scrutiny.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.