The union government on 26 January banned Tiktok and 58 other Chinese apps permanently. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued a new notification to TikTok, WeChat, Bytedance, UC Alibaba browser, and other apps to impose a permanent ban in India (click here for the older, 29 June 2020, government order).
“The government is not satisfied with the response/explanation given by these companies. Hence, the ban for these 59 apps is permanent now,” Media sources cited an unnamed source familiar with the development.
Amid India’s border tussle with China, the government had initially banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, WeChat, citing data privacy and security concerns in June 2020. In the last six months, the total banned Chinese apps tally went up to 208.
TikTok had initiated the talks with the MeitY to resolve the issue, but now it seems there is no resolution. It means that the Google Play and App Store will continue to suspended access to these apps in India.
“We are evaluating the notification and will respond if necessary. TikTok is one of the first companies to comply with the Government’s Government Directive issued on 29 June 2020. We continue to strive to comply with local laws and regulations and do everything possible. overcoming government problems. Ensuring the privacy and security of all users remains our priority,” report quoted a TikTok spokesperson.
This does not bode well for the other apps which were banned over the course of 2020 — over 200 by the end of the year. Some apps, such as the hugely popular smartphone game PUBG Mobile had attempted to remedy the situation by launching a new, India-only version, PUBG Mobile India which was announced in November, after hiring new staff in India. However, later responses to RTIs showed that MeitY had given no permission to the relaunch.
With this latest development, it looks unlikely that the game will be making a comeback in India very soon. It’s also unclear what this announcement means got the hundreds of people employed by ByteDance (Tiktok’s parent company) in India — sources had told Gadgets 360 that the team in India was retained after the ban, and was participating in global operations.