NEW DELHI: Chinese short video platform TikTok has been invited to meet the Indian government “for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications", the company’s India Head, Nikhil Gandhi, said in a statement via Twitter. The popular 2-minute video sharing plattform is among the 59 Chinese apps the Indian government banned Monday for being a threat to its 'sovereignty and security'.
Gandhi claimed that the company “continues to comply" with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and hasn’t shared any user information of Indians with foreign governments, including that in China. He didn’t clarify when the meeting with the government will be held.
“Further, if we are requested to in the future we would not do so. We place the highest importance on user privacy and integrity," Gandhi said in his statement. The app, alongside Helo, which is also owned by Chinese Bytedance disappeared from the Apple and Google Play app stores a few hours ago.
The list includes Bytedance’s Vigo Video too, though the company was already in the process of shutting it down. It has announced on June 15 that Vigo users would be transitioned to TikTok and the app would cease to exist. At the moment, Vigo Video is still available on the app stores, alongside apps like AliBaba Group’s UC Browser and UC News, Bigo Technologies’ Likee, Xiaomi’s Mi Community and more, which are all on the government’s list.
Together, the 59 banned Chinese apps accounted for 5% of total installs in iOS and Android smartphones in India in Q2, 2020 so far, according to data from Sensor Tower sourced independently by Mint. The total install counts for these apps had dropped by 21% from Q1,2020, with 330 million downloads so far in this quarter as compared to 420 million in the last quarter.
TikTok, Helo, U Video, UC Browser and VMate are the top five most downloaded apps in India amongst the 59 banned.