TikTok has refuted the media reports that suggest it will take legal action against the ongoing ban in India, and confirmed that there are no plans to pursue such action. The video-sharing platform owned by China’s ByteDance is currently in discussions with various government officials to resolve key issues. On Monday, the government imposed a ban on 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, CamScanner, UC Browser, and WeChat, stating that the move was taken in view of national security. Internet service providers (ISPs) and telcos in the country were directed to block access to all these apps shortly after the ban was announced publicly.
“There have been statements in the press concerning the possibility that TikTok might pursue legal action regarding the directive by the Government of India. We have no plans to pursue such action,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.
The latest communication by TikTok comes just a day after its CEO Kevin Mayer called the ban “an unfortunate challenge in India” in a message to the company’s employees in the country. Shortly after the government’s decision came in public earlier this week, TikTok India head Nikhil Gandhi also responded to the ongoing restrictions and said that it was in the process of complying with the “interim order” passed by the government.
Sources suggest that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, in addition to Alibaba, Tencent, and UC Web, internally discussed various legal moves, though the plan is initially to convince the government by submitting clarifications.
“We are committed to working with the government to address its concerns. We comply with the laws and regulations of the Government of India. Ensuring the data sovereignty, security and privacy of our users has always been and will continue to be a top priority for us,” the spokesperson said.
India is an important market for TikTok with over 20 crore users and a large number of influencers with thousands and lakhs of followers. However, the app faced criticism over its poor content moderation in the past as well. The anti-China sentiment in the country also took public outrage against TikTok to new levels.
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