The government of India banned 59 Chinese applications earlier this week stating privacy concerns. A day later popular short video app TikTok was taken down from Google Play store and Apple App store. More banned Chinese apps have now been removed from Play store as well as App store including SHAREit, UC Browser, Mi Community, among others. TikTok app has gone offline and stopped working completely for users in India.
Commenting on the move, TikTok had issued a statement that stated, “We have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarification.” Popular app Bigo Live has also been removed fro Google Play store and Apple App store.
Google has said that it has temporarily blocked access to the banned 59 China-linked apps on its India Play Store. The company said it is reviewing the interim orders from the government and has already notified the affected developers.
“While we continue to review the interim orders from the Government of India, we have notified the affected developers and have temporarily blocked access to the apps that remained available on the Play Store in India,” Google spokesperson said.
Out of all the bans that were banned in India, TikTok had the largest user base in the country. TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer had revealed that there are over 200 million users in India and the apps have encountered an unfortunate challenge in India. Commenting on TiktTok’s ban in India, Mayer said, “”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.”
In a statement to the media Bigo Live stated, “The Government of India issued an interim order on 29 June 2020 to block 59 mobile apps, including Bigo Live. We respect the Indian government’s order and will temporarily take off Bigo Live from Google Play and App Store in India until there is further clarity provided on this matter. Bigo Live is under the Singapore-based BIGO Technology and we hold utmost priority to the compliance of all local laws as well as the privacy and security of all our users. We will be working closely with the Indian government under the local legal framework.”
Soon after the government announced the ban, popular app TikTok stopped showing in search results inside Google Play Store and Apple App Store. For several users, searching for TikTok on Google Play resulted in showing either some clone apps or apps to download TikTok videos from unpopular developers. The Apple App Store showed ‘helper apps’ like VideoSplit for TikTok, but not the TikTok app itself.
Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi’s account has been deleted from Sina Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter. The account was deleted on the request of Indian embassy.