TikTok ban in US: Why did India ban Chinese app and how is it different from American ban? Explained

US President Biden signs bill to ban or force sale of TikTok due to national security concerns. TikTok denies sharing US user data with Beijing and vows to fight the new law in court.

Edited By Alka Jain
First Published26 Apr 2024
Chinese video app TikTok banned in the United States.
Chinese video app TikTok banned in the United States.

US President Joe Biden inked a legislation to ban or force a sale of Chinese app TikTok. While passing the bill, the US Congress members said the app presents a national security threat as long as it is controlled by or connected to ByteDance.

However, TikTok has strongly denied the allegations saying it has never share US user data with Beijing and it will never do so. “We will take the fight against the new law to the courts”, said CEO Shou Zi Chew. 

The Chinese video app was banned in India around four years ago. Take a look at why India banned TikTok and how is it different from US ban?  

Why did India ban TikTok? 

Indian users bid goodbye to TikTok app in June 2020. The Government of India raised privacy concerns, saying the Chinese apps pose a threat to the country's sovereignty and security. Besides TikTok, India banned dozens other Chinese apps following a military clash along the India-China border. 

The move was largely supported in India, where demonstrators have been advocating for a boycott of Chinese products ever since the tragic conflict in the isolated border region of the Karakoram mountains. Months before the ban, India had also restricted investment from Chinese companies. 

“TikTok wasn’t a one-off case. Today, India has banned over 500 Chinese apps to date," said Nikhil Pahwa, a digital policy expert and founder of tech website MediaNama as quoted by newswire AP. 

How is it different from the US ban? 

The ban was swift in India and the Chinese companies were given time to respond to privacy concerns, hence, the ban was imposed permanently in January 2021. However, the situation is different in the US as it is not going to be easy due to its bigger revenue market. 

“In India, TikTok decided not to go to court, but the US is a bigger revenue market for them. Also, the First Amendment in America is fairly strong, so it’s not going to be as easy for the US to do this as it was for India,” said Nikhil Pahwa, a digital policy expert and founder of tech website MediaNama.

Pahwa stated that countries need to assess their dependency on China and find a way to reduce it as the apps can pose a national security risk. TikTok app is also banned in Pakistan, Nepal, and Afghanistan and restricted in many countries in Europe.

(With AP inputs)

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