TikTok banned in India

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

The TikTok telecommunications app has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 foreign apps, according to a letter seen by Reuters news agency.

In a letter to the government of India on June 28 and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said that the Chinese government had never asked for details of users, and the company would not respond when asked.

TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China's ByteDance but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to lure international audiences.

Along with 58 other Chinese applications, including UC Browser's WeChat for Tencent Holdings Ltd, it was shut down in India this week following a border dispute with China. Advocates said the legal challenge was likely to succeed, provided that India cited national security concerns about the ban.

The ban, which has angered India's rising star TikTok, has given local rivals a place like Roposo, which has added 22 million new users in the 48 hours after the ban began.

TikTok has committed to spending $ 1bn in the region. Since its launch in 2017, it has become one of the fastest growing media applications. India was its largest market on the basis of users, followed by the United States.

In the letter, Mayer has invested in the company's investment in the region, highlighting more than 3,500 direct and indirect employees and content available in 14 languages.

"The privacy of our users, as well as the security and sovereignty of India is of paramount importance to us," wrote Mayer. "We have already announced our plans to build a data center in India."

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