India Asks Banned Chinese App Makers 77 Questions on Security, Censorship

Cheryl Sanders
July 16, 2020

This quickly led to a ban of the app, alongside 58 other Chinese backed apps, in India following recent privacy and security concerns, similarly both the USA and Australia had also announced they were considering banning the app and removing it from marketplaces stating it was effectively nothing more than malware and spyware.

The American leadership's remarks on the Chinese social media apps came amid growing tensions in bilateral ties with Beijing on a range of issues, including on the coronavirus outbreak and the controversial national security law imposed in Hong Kong.

"There are a number of ... administration officials who are looking at the national security risk as it relates to TikTok, WeChat and other apps that have the potential for national security exposure, specifically as it relates to the gathering of information on American citizens by a foreign adversary", White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters en route to Washington from Georgia. It has said the apps pose a threat to its "sovereignty and integrity".

The 59 banned apps, which include TikTok and Alibaba's UC Browser, were asked whether they acted at the behest of any foreign government to edit, promote or demote any content. "As such, we urge your administration to take decisive action to protect the American people's privacy and safety", they said in the letter.

The US, he said, has been working closely with the Indians across a broad spectrum of the full range of global partnership with them to assist them in making sure that they have all the information they need to make good decisions.

They also said that they support Trump administration's effort to restrict TikTok and other social media sites linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from accessing the United States markets.

In a statement to CNN, TikTok says: "Our hope is that whatever concerns Wells Fargo may have can be answered through transparent dialogue so that their employees can continue to participate in and benefit from our community". In the aftermath of the ban, the company had stated that it complied with all Indian laws, adding that users' data security and privacy were its top priorities.

The letter signed by 25 US Congressmen and Congresswomen said President Trump should take strong action to stop CCP's sophisticated espionage campaign against the country.

As evidence, TikTok's privacy policy for United States residents is upfront about the vast quantity of user data it collects and shares with the CCP, the lawmakers said.

More than 800 million people around the world use the social media, short-video app TikTok.

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