TikTok is engaging with India over ban and already complies with local privacy and security requirements, CEO says – ProWellTech
Kevin Mayer, TikTok CEO, said Wednesday that the popular short form video app meets “all data privacy and data security requirements under Indian law,” two days after New Delhi banned 59 apps, including referred to by citing Mayer’s security issues.
Addressing TikTok 2000 employees in India on Wednesday, Mayer said ByteDance, the parent company of the Chinese app, would do “everything in our power to restore the positive experiences and opportunities they can be proud of”.
With over 200 million users in India, TikTok considers Asia’s third largest economy its largest foreign market.
New Delhi announced on Monday that it was blocking 59 apps that have been developed by Chinese companies. Among the apps that have been blocked are Tencent’s WeChat, UC Browser and Alibaba Group’s UC News. A spokesman for the Alibaba group in India did not respond to a request for comment.
The Indian government said these apps were “compiling, extracting and profiling” user data that posed threats to “national security and defense of India”.
In his address today, which TikTok later published on his blog, Mayer said that his company “attaches the utmost importance to users’ privacy and integrity”. TikTok was working with various stakeholders in India to address their concerns, he said.
Mayer’s address to his employees arrives the day after TikTok has withdrawn his app from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India and has revoked access to existing users in the world’s second largest Internet market. Visiting the TikTok app or mobile website in India currently returns an error indicating that TikTok is about to comply with the New Delhi order.
“Today is a staple and a reality for TikTok users even in remote cities, towns and villages across the country. Individual enabled creators have become the most sought after for digital marketing campaigns. Small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to fulfill their ambitions and dreams of growth by reaching thousands of potential customers and consumers daily through the platform, “said Mayer.
It is still unclear at this point when – and if – India would lift its ban on TikTok and other apps. TikTok, the most popular app among the 59 apps blocked by India, has been particularly affected by the New Delhi order.
Google and Apple said Tuesday that the Indian government had asked them to extract the TikTok app from their stores and that TikTok had voluntarily canceled its app from the nation.
Other apps remain available on the Google Play Store and App Store at the time of writing. Although the Indian Telecommunications Department has since ordered Vodafone, Airtel and Reliance Jio to block access to all banned apps on their networks with “immediate effect”.
TikTok has faced a backlash in India for several weeks while an anti-China sentiment is catching on in the nation. A skirmish between the two neighboring nations at a disputed Himalayan border site that killed 20 Indian soldiers last month further intensified that tension.
In May, several users discovered and shared numerous recent TikTok videos on Twitter that seemed to promote domestic violence, cruelty to animals, racism, child abuse and objectification of women. This prompted many in India to leave a poor score on the TikTok app in the Google Play Store to express their disgust.
“Our partnership efforts with credible national and global organizations such as United Nations women, the United Nations Development Program, UNICEF and CRY have raised awareness and promoted concerted action to end gender-based violence, domestic violence and child marriage, “said Mayer today.