Govt committee to hear out the 59 banned Chinese apps

The banned Chinese apps, including TikTok and UC Browser, will reportedly be given a chance to prove that their apps are secure and don’t send user data to servers in China.
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The union government is reportedly giving the 59 banned Chinese apps to appear before a committee constituted by the government to explain their case and prove to the government that their apps are privacy-compliant, safe and that data of Indian users on their app isnt being sent to China.

On Monday evening, India banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, Shein, UC Browser, Club Factory, among others. The ministry of electronics and IT said in the announcement that these apps were engaged in activities, which is ‘prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order’.

According to an Economic Times report, executives at TikTok, Bigo Live and Likee have said that they will cooperate with the government and that they had begun the process.

TikTok was reportedly invited to meet the Indian government ‘for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications’ on Tuesday.

These companies will reportedly be given a fair opportunity to explain their stance.

Livemint reports that the order announced on Monday banning these apps was an interim order and that this government committee will come out with a detailed order soon.  

This committee will reportedly conduct a detailed inquiry into these apps to see what their data sharing practices are.

This committee will have officials from the ministries of home affairs, IT & electronics, information and broadcasting and law and justice.  Sanjay Bahl, director general of CERT-In will also reportedly be part of the committee.

According to the ET report, the government has reportedly factored in potential legal challenges arising from the banned Chinese apps. An official told ET that they don’t think the courts will disagree with the government.

A lawyer representing ByteDance told ET that the company will first try to engage with the government before it looks to approach the courts.  

When the ban was announced, TikTok had over a billion downloads on Google’s Play Store, and Shein and Club Factory both had over 100 million downloads. As of June 19, TikTok was estimated to have over 120 million users in India.

Ankit Malhotra, analyst at Counterpoint says that around 1 out of 3 smartphone users in India will be affected by the ban.

“Although many alternatives are available for these apps so it shouldn't be a big issue for users. Some Knockoffs may arrive in immediate short term to cater to the demand. In medium to long term, this is a chance for Indian app ecosystem to replace the banned apps,” he added.

Meanwhile, China also expressed strong concern over the banand said the Indian government has the responsibility to uphold the "legitimate and legal rights" of international investors.

Chinese embassy Spokesperson Counselor Ji Rong said that the ban will affect not only the employment of local Indian workers who support these apps, but also the interests of Indian users and the employment and livelihoods of many creators and entrepreneurs.

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