NEW DELHI (INDIA) – After reviewing responses from app makers on issues such as compliance and privacy, India has decided to retain its ban 58 Chinese apps including TikTok, according to sources.
The ministry of electronics and information technology (IT) gave the 59 apps a chance to explain their position on issues including whether they censored content, worked on behalf of foreign governments or lobbied influencers, when the ban was first imposed in June. The move comes amid rising tensions with China.
The companies which include ByteDance’s popular video-sharing app TikTok, Tencent Holdings’ WeChat and Alibaba’s UC Browser, were asked to respond to 77 questions.
A government panel looking into the app ban decided that there will be no change in the country’s position for now as it is in the interest of India’s national security and sovereignty, said a source.
The source added that the government has sent notices to the companies informing them of its decision.
TikTok said in a statement it is evaluating the notice and will respond to it.
“We continually strive to comply with local laws and regulations and do our best to address any concerns the government may have. Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users remains to be our topmost priority,” it said.
The decision comes just days after Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a “minor face-off” in a disputed stretch of their shared border in the eastern Himalayas.
In September, India banned another 118 mobile apps, including Tencent’s popular videogame PUBG, as it stepped up the pressure on Chinese technology companies following the standoff at the border.
The 118 apps continue to be banned and no decision has been reached on them as yet.