A day after popular short video-sharing app TikTok completely stopped working in India owing o the Indian government's ban on it and other 58 Chinese apps, the CEO of TikTok has a message for the company's employees in India.
In an open letter posted in the company’s newsroom, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said the platform has encountered an unfortunate challenge in India and that "we stay resolved and committed to our mission, and are working with stakeholders to address their concerns."
The Indian government on late Monday evening banned 59 applications under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, including TikTok, UC Browser, scanning app CamScanner, citing it has found these apps to be engaging in activities “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India," according to the government's order.
The order came amid India's violent confrontation against China on 15 and 16 June clashes in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley across the LAC in which 20 Indian soldiers for killed.
Here’s the full text of TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer’s message:
At TikTok, our efforts are guided by our commitment to democratizing the internet. To a large extent, we believe we have been successful in this effort. Our platform has encountered an unfortunate challenge in India. However, we stay resolved and committed to our mission, and are working with stakeholders to address their concerns. TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and places the highest importance on user privacy and integrity.
Since 2018, we have worked hard to ensure that over 200 millions users in India are able to express their joy and creativity, celebrate self-expression, and share experiences with a growing global community.
TikTok has enabled hundreds of millions of users to enjoy the creative works of artists, storytellers, educators and performers from across the country who have forged new avenues of livelihood improvement. While sharing their skills and talents on a global stage, these performers, artists and entertainers have received opportunities for brand promotions and associations that were once considered the exclusive domain of film stars and sports celebrities. Today, it is a staple and reality for TikTok users even in remote cities, towns and villages across the country. Empowered individual creators have become the most sought-after for digital marketing campaigns. Small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs have been able to realise their growth ambitions and dreams by reaching out to thousands of potential customers and consumers on a daily basis, through the platform.
Our creator community is what defines us and we take pride in the diversity of the creators on our platform. These are unprecedented times but we remain committed to supporting the welfare of our TikTok creator community till this interim order is in effect. Our creator managers are actively engaging with our top creators to reassure them of our efforts and updates about path forward.
Our daily audience of millions of users in India have come to rely on the joy and inspiration that TikTok provides every day in a unique and democratized environment.
Furthermore, TikTok has leveraged this power of the internet to create greater social awareness in partnership with global development organisations. Our partnership efforts with credible national and global organisations such as UN Women, United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF, and CRY have raised awareness and advocated for concerted action to end gender-based, domestic violence and child marriage.
Our employees are our biggest strength, and their well-being is our topmost priority. We have also assured more than 2,000 strong workforce that we will do everything in our power to restore the positive experiences and opportunities that they can be proud of.
We have been heartened and encouraged by your love and support for our platform, and promise to live up to the trust and faith you have showed in us. We look forward to continue playing an active role in the mainframe of Digital India.
Currently, the Bytedance-owned social media platform has more than 2,000 employees.