Last year, India banned over 200 Chinese apps citing national security. These included extremely popular apps and games like TikTok and PUBG Mobile. This was done in phases and now the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has announced that it is considering banning TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps permanently.
According to MEITY, it offered the banned app developers a chance to explain themselves regarding compliance to privacy and security requirements. But the makers could not come up with satisfactory response, which seems to have initiated the permanent ban situation.
According to a report by Mint, a spokesperson from MEITY said, “The government is not satisfied with the response/explanation given by these companies. Hence, the ban for these 59 apps is permanent now.”
As for TikTok, a spokesperson said, “We are evaluating the notice and will respond to it as appropriate. TikTok was among the first companies to comply with the government of India directive issued on June 29, 2020. We continually strive to comply with local laws and regulations and do our best to address any concerns the government may have. Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users remains to be our topmost priority.”
What does the ban mean?
The Indian government has been on an offensive mode on the digital front ever since the reports of armed conflicts on the Sino-Indian border started pouring in earlier this year.
Following the Chinese military’s transgression in Indian borders, the Modi Government has been clear it will not get involved in any business activities with its Chinese counterparts till the time the border issue is resolved.
Both the countries have had several rounds of diplomatic discussions till now and the Indian side wants the Chinese troops to regress to their April position.
While the ban will directly impact the local Indian small business owners who were dependent on AliExpress for their supplies or Lalamove for deliveries, it will virtually result is blocking all the imports from China apart from unemployment for the people employed in the Indian operations of these companies.
However, the Modi Government has been calling for the local business to become self-reliant which has led to the rise of a magnitude of applications and businesses that have tried to fill the void created due to the ban on these popular applications. While there may still be alternatives for dating, games, utility and social media apps, finding an alternate to AliExpress like application will surely be a tough task.