China expresses strong concern over Indian ban on mobile apps

In India Chinese social media app Tik Tok has signed up 200 million users and Xiaomi Corp is the number 1 smartphone brand

In India Chinese social media app Tik Tok has signed up 200 million users and Xiaomi Corp is the number 1 smartphone brand

Indians have rushed to download social app Chingari, a desi alternative to Chinese TikTok, which is witnessing almost 1 lakh downloads and over 2 million views per hour since the government banned 59 Chinese apps over national security concerns. "The government should also consider the control Chinese investors have in Indian companies, which from the perspective of data privacy/security will remain a leaky bucket for Indian customer data draining to China", said Sandeep Singh, co-founder and president, Khabri, a digital audio platform.

The apps are "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order", the ministry of information technology said.

A day after the Indian government banned Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, similar home-grown apps like Chingari have seen surge in downloads. "They'll be anxious that they might invest billions of dollars into the country and either Indian consumers will boycott and protest against them, or the government will just ban them because they're backed by Chinese", Rein said.

Similarly, an app called Bolo Indya, which lets users create short videos saw over 100,000 new downloads in the last 12 hours. The move could affect how millions of Indians work and play.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters in a briefing on Tuesday that "Indian government has a responsibility to uphold the legal rights of worldwide investors including those from China".

Perhaps the most popular app that was on the ban list, however, was TikTok, which over the last two years has managed to gain a strong user base amongst young Indians and spawned a creative content production ecosystem along the lines of YouTube.

He adds that although there are ways to get around the ban, it will "effectively kill" popular apps.

Following the ban order, many TikTok users posted videos expressing their displeasure with the ban. We obviously know the kind of problem our country is facing with China and we don't want to deal with them and why give them that much of profit when it comes to using their apps.

The app also rewards the users on the basis of how viral the video becomes. And I'm talking more about the employees of TikTok in India, not only those who are on TikTok.

He agrees that there is cause for concern around how the apps treat user data, but he says the response should be in the form of a privacy law, which India doesn't have.

The company employs about 2,000 people in the country.

TikTok's India chief Nikhil Gandhi said the company will not share information with anyone, adding that "if we are requested, we would not do so".

Others bemoaned the potential loss of jobs at the app companies' Indian offices.

The compilation of such data, and its mining and profiling by elements hostile to India is "a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures", the statement said.

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