The Indian government has permanently banned 59 Chinese-origin apps that include big names such as TikTok, WeChat, ShateIT, UC Browser, and more. The decision comes several months after their initial ban in June 2020. It appears that The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) was not satisfied with the response given by developers of said apps regarding their data protection laws. We reported earlier that TikTok’s developers ByteDance was one of the first to respond to said notice, and that the government was ‘satisfied’ with its response. There is still a possibility of some, if not all, apps being unbanned at a later date, but the prospects of that seem somewhat dim.
Reuters reports that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance plans on cutting its Indian workforce soon. The company issued the following statement to the news wire: “We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived… we find that has not been the case. We simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while our apps remain un-operational… we don’t know when we will make a comeback in India.“
A total of 208 Chinese apps have been banned by the government so far. It’ll be interesting to see if the others meet the same fate as the initial 59.
While this news might come off as devastating for TikTok users in India, there is still a glimmer of hope for PUBG Mobile India. Given that it was not in the initial list of apps that got banned, there is still hope that its parent company Krafton can work something out with the authorities. However, we may have to wait until March 2021 for that to happen.