‘The government is not satisfied with the response/explanation given by these companies. Hence, the ban for these 59 apps is permanent now.’

The ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) has issued fresh notices to TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps to impose a permanent ban on these apps in India, a person aware of the development said.

“The government is not satisfied with the response/explanation given by these companies. Hence, the ban for these 59 apps is permanent now,” the person cited above said, adding that the noticed was issued last week.

In June, MeitY had banned 59 apps, including Bytedance’s TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser and Tencent’s WeChat, citing that they are ‘engaged in activities, which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order’.

Thereafter, the government gave these companies an opportunity to explain their case regarding compliance to privacy and security requirements, before imposing a permanent ban. They were also asked to respond to a detailed questionnaire sent by the ministry. The apps were banned under section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

Over the last six months, the government banned another 208 Chinese apps. The ban was announced amid border tensions between India and China has refused to die down over the despite several rounds of negotiations at the diplomatic and military levels.

“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,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

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