Chinese platform TikTok on Tuesday defended having communicated data from Indian users in Beijing. It is at the top of the 59 applications that India has chosen to block to “ensure the security and sovereignty of the Indian cyber region”.
Tiktok disproves all sharing of information with China. The platform, at the top of the list of 59 Chinese applications that has been blocked since Monday by New Delhi, secures in a press release published on Tuesday, June 30, “not to have shared any information” about its Indian users with foreign governments.
The company’s Indian branch, which is owned by the Chinese group ByteDance, also claims “to respect the security and integrity of data under Indian law”.
The Indian government ordered their blocking to “ensure the security and sovereignty of the Indian cyber region”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government decision comes two weeks after an extremely deadly clash between the Indian and Chinese armies over a border dispute in the Himalayas, which prompted calls for boycotts of Chinese products in the Asian giant from the south.
Chinese fever in India
The shock left 20 dead on the Indian side and an unknown number of victims in the Chinese rankings. The deaths of Indian soldiers sparked outrage in India, triggering an anti-Chinese fever, which put pressure on the Hindu nationalist government.
A large group of hotels in New Delhi have announced that they refuse to welcome Chinese customers. Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi, the market leader in India, where it also has factories, has to hide its signs and logos behind big banners that proclaim “Made in India”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Tuesday at 17 local time (10:30 GMT) but it is unclear if he will address the issue of Indo-Chinese tensions. The government’s intervention may relate to the coronavirus epidemic, which is still raging in India and spreading rapidly. The country so far counts 16,893 deaths for 566,840 declared cases, figures in rapid progression.
Tiktok, extremely popular in India
This ban is a major setback for TikTok, extremely popular with young Indians, who will suddenly lose a large portion of their global users.
The application allows you to publish videos in a few tens of seconds where users film themselves performing sketches, singing in playback or dancing to music.
“TikTok has democratized the Internet by being available in 14 Indian languages, with hundreds of millions of users, artists, storytellers, teachers and artists depending on it for a living, many of them first time Internet users,” the application lamented in its press release.
AFP journalists in India were still able to access the application on Tuesday morning. TikTok indicated that “is in compliance” with the blocking scheme. This blockage of Chinese applications, which also affects WeChat, Weibo and the game Clash of Kings, is part of a context of sharp tensions between New Delhi and Beijing.