Tiktok Ban: TikTok removed from Apple, Google stores

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NEW DELHI: Social media app TikTok has been removed from the app stores in a bid to curb downloads after the government ordered to block as many as 59 apps owned or backed by the Chinese.
A search for the app done on Tuesday morning showed no results on both Apple App Store and Google Play Store. However, no official statement has been made by Google or Apple on the removal so far.
The Modi government on Monday “blocked” as many as 59 apps, including popular ones such as TikTok, UC Browser, WeChat, Shareit and CamScanner for “engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.

The Centre said, without naming China, that “targeted move” against the “malicious apps … used in mobile and non-mobile internet-enabled devices” comes “amid raging concerns” about the “data security and privacy of 130 crore Indians” and follows “several complaints … about misuse of some apps on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an illegal manner to servers located outside India”.
The ban comes in the backdrop of current stand-off along the Line of Actual control (LAC) in Ladakh with Chinese troops. This marks the largest sweep against the Chinese technology companies.
The information technology ministry in a statement said it has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India”.
“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the statement said.

The IT ministry said it has invoked its power under section 69A of the IT Act and rules, and has decided to block 59 apps in view of information available that they are “engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
The move will “safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace”, it added.
(With PTI inputs)

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