Saturday, 20 June 2020
Govt clarifies it hasn’t ordered Google, Apple to ban TikTok, other Chinese apps in India
Contrary to ongoing reports, the Government of India hasn’t ordered Google and Apple to ban Chinese apps like TikTok and CamScanner from Play Store and App Store respectively. The Government’s clarification comes in response to a viral message of an order allegedly from the National Informatics Centre (NIC) doing the rounds claiming that Google and Apple have been prohibited from making some very “specific” apps available on their respective stores.
The purported order mentions 15 apps, most of them based out of China (which means most of them are made by Chinese developers/companies), including LiveMe, Bigo Live, Vigo Video, BeautyPlus, CamScanner, Clash of Kings, Mobile Legends, TikTok, ClubFactory, Shein, Romwe, AppLock, Club Factory, VMate, and Game of Sultans. The Government of India, via its @PIBFactCheck handle, has confirmed that the order that’s doing the rounds is “fake.”
This doesn’t mean such a ban isn’t possible in the future though. This is because intelligence agencies have reportedly raised a red-flag over the use of 52 apps, many of them with links to China, over privacy concerns, and advised the Government to either block these apps or discourage Indians from using them. TikTok is again mentioned in this list, so are a couple of apps from Xiaomi. Zoom also somehow figures in the list, though it is made by a company based out of the US.