The Indian government has banned TikTok, Helo, WeChat and 56 other Chinese mobile applications, to counter the threat posed by these applications to its “sovereignty and security”.

The ban came amid escalating tensions along the disputed border between the two countries. Relations between the world’s two most populous nations have been strained following the deaths of 20 Indian troops in hand-to-hand fighting with their Chinese counterparts on the western end of the high-altitude, contested border in mid-June.

India’s Ministry of Information Technology cited complaints about data on Indian users being transferred abroad without authorisation, said the ban was imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009. The ministry said;

“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures.”

TikTok has now reacted to the ban in its own statement, saying;

“Building empowered local management teams in the countries where TikTok operates, including India, has been critical to our global success.

“While the Government of India has issued an interim order to block 59 apps, our team of around 2,000 employees in India is committed to working with the government to demonstrate our dedication to user security and our commitment to the country overall.

“We are proud to provide hundreds of millions of users in India – and around the world – a creative platform for their stories, performances, education, and, often, a way to make their livelihood.”

India’s TikTok influencers are now urging their fans to follow them on other social media platforms after the government announced the ban.

As news of the ban came into effect, TikTok creators began to post videos with their Instagram handles and YouTube links.

Actress Shraddha Arya deleted all her TikTok posts except for one listing her Instagram and Facebook handle.
Some creators even posted videos about how to use Instagram.

Others posted farewell videos with the hashtag #ByeTikTok, saying they agreed with the government’s move and would delete their accounts from the app.

In an interview with India TV, actress Ashnoor Kaur, who has 3.2 million followers on TikTok, celebrated the government’s move saying it presented an opportunity for India to become self-sufficient and use homegrown apps.

“I am really happy with this decision and I’m totally in support of it,” she said, adding, “your country comes first.”

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