The MeitY has written to all the companies concerned and said that making the apps available, directly or indirectly, would violate IT Act and other laws.

TikTok app on mobile
Atom Ban Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 14:22

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has directed the 59 banned Chinese apps to strictly adhere to the orders or face action in case of violation, sources said. People in the know of developments said that the Ministry has written to all the companies concerned and said that making the apps available, directly or indirectly, would violate IT Act and other laws.

The government had last month banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, WeChat and UC Browser and Xiaomi's Mi Community over national security concerns amid the border tussle at Ladakh which also led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese PLA troops.

"These measures have been undertaken since there is credible information that these apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order," MeitY's June 29 statement had said.

According to the ministry, the move would safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile users.

Other Chinese apps in the banned list are Club Factory, SHAREit, Likee, Mi Video Call (Xiaomi), Weibo, Baidu, BIGO LIVE and more.

With India banning the 59 Chinese apps on June 29, the affected companies have begun reducing their workforce in the country as they stare at huge losses.

Alibaba subsidiary UCWeb, the company behind the apps UC Browser and UC News which feature in the list of apps banned by India, has already stopped service in the country, leading to job cuts at its Gurugram and Mumbai offices.

"We have complied with the government's recent directive concerning 59 apps and stopped the service," a UC spokesperson said in a statement.

Earlier, in a statement on July 7, UC Browser warned its India users that their data will not be accessible after July 10.

"We are in the process of complying with a recent government directive... As our services may be affected, please back up all data you deem important from the UC app to your device no later than the 10th of July, 2020," said the statement.

Meanwhile, e-commerce player Club Factory, which is also banned by India, sent an email to sellers to inform them about suspension of settlement of their pending dues until the ban was lifted, All India Online Vendor Association (AIOVA) said in a legal notice.

AIOVA, which represents more than 2,000 sellers across the country, demanded immediate settlement of dues to sellers.

However, TikTok, owned by Chinese unicorn ByteDance, might take the biggest hit by the ban as its largest user base (nearly 120 million before the ban came into force) is in India.

ByteDance is expecting a loss of $6 billion after three of its apps were featured in the list of 59 banned apps in India, according to a report in China's state-run Global Times.

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer earlier, however, reportedly assured ByteDance employees that India's move to ban the app would not lead to salary cuts and layoffs in the country.

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