TikTok India said today it had been invited to meet with government stakeholders for a chance to clarify after it was blocked on Monday along with 58 apps with Chinese links. The popular short video service also said it “continued to comply with data privacy and security requirements under Indian law” and had not shared any information of users in India with “any foreign government, including the Chinese government”.
The viral app added “if we are requested to in the future we would not do so,” asserting that it placed highest importance on user privacy and integrity.
“We have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications,” TikTok India head Nikhil Gandhi said in a statement.
“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,” said Mr Gandhi.
TikTok, UC Browser, WeChat, Shareit and CamScanner are among the Chinese apps blocked by the government for “engaging in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order,” the government said.
The move comes amid escalating tensions between India and China over the June 15 clash in Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action.
Sources said inputs from intelligence agencies said the apps had compromised user privacy and were being used as spyware or malware.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Sunday said India had given a “befitting response” to China in the border dispute. He also spoke of the countrywide call for boycott of Chinese goods, stressing on the government’s “Atma Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)” campaign to reduce dependence on imports. “We will buy local and be vocal for local and this will help India become stronger,” he said.