FILE PHOTO: A TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration DADO RUVIC June 10, 2020 12:24pm EDT

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

As tensions between India and China steadily increase over their border dispute, the Indian government has banned the use of TikTok and other Chinese tech throughout the country. The ban includes 59 other apps including ByteDance, and threatens to destroy app’s estimated $1 billion rollout in India. 

Indian authorities released a statement on the decision, alleging that these Chinese apps were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.” The statement added that the companies are “engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.” TikTok is one of the world’s most popular social media apps, earning the highest engagement rate per post of any social platform. India accounts for roughly 30% of TikTok’s user base with about 119 million active users. India’s decision to ban these apps follows similar actions from the United States against Chinese tech. The FCC officially declared Huawei and ZTE national security threats on Tuesday.

While Indian authorities maintain that the apps were taken down over security concerns, some claim the restrictions are related to China’s increased aggression against India on the Ladakh border. Top generals from both armies met on Tuesday to discuss potential de-escalation. Some Indian TikTok users expressed frustration that the ban would have a negative effect on their quality of life. Many see TikTok as an app that allows people from far corners of the globe to express themselves to large audiences worldwide.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

TikTok goes down in India, its biggest overseas market – TechCrunch – 6/30/20 Earlier on Tuesday, TikTok app became unavailable for download on Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store in India. Two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that ByteDance, the developer of TikTok, had voluntarily pulled the app from the app stores. The vast majority of other apps including Alibaba Group’s UC Browser and UC News as well as e-commerce service Club Factory that India blocked on Monday evening remain available for download on the marquee app stores, suggesting that Google and Apple are yet to comply with New Delhi’s direction.

Beijing says it’s ‘strongly concerned’ by India’s decision to ban Chinese apps – CNN – 6/30/20 Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Tuesday that the government was “strongly concerned” about the ban. He added that authorities were still “checking and verifying information on the situation.” […] The move is the latest indication of escalating tensions between India and China, which engaged earlier this month in border clashes in the Himalayas that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.

With India’s TikTok Ban, the World’s Digital Walls Grow Higher – New York Times – 6/30/30 TikTok, the first Chinese internet service to have a truly global fan base, is rapidly falling victim to China’s worsening diplomatic relations around the globe. It is yet another sign that the digital world, once thought of as a unifying space that transcended old divisions, is being carved up along the same national lines that split the physical one.

‘Boycott China’: India Bans 59 Chinese Apps, Including TikTok – Breitbart – 6/30/20 TikTok tops the list of banned Chinese apps released by India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT on Monday night. India is TikTok’s largest overseas market and the world’s second-largest internet market.

Shut up and put up — What Chinese companies in India should do as Galwan crisis continues – ThePrint – 6/30/30 I would advise these Chinese companies to do five things. Keep a low profile, get control of the narrative, listen, state your brand value and work on your commitments. […] But today the situation is fundamentally different. Blood has been spilt, a nation’s pride has been hurt, and even those who were not on the bandwagon now want to jump on it. Matters are made more serious in India whenever cricket is involved. To add to the world pointing fingers at China for suppressing information about Covid-19, the time now is to believe in the motto – less is more.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Urban Asian on Twitter, 6/30/20: Brilliantly put together by Dr. Sundas Pasha … Here’s an appeal from UrbanAsian – . Since we all know, Government of India have banned TikTok & Helo App among 59 other apps. These are the hard times for Tiktoker who genuinely created some of the amazing content

Subrahmanyam KVJ on Twitter, 6/30/20: “If India finds a way to carry out that threat, it may present a model for other countries from Europe to Southeast Asia that seek to curtail the pervasiveness of apps like ByteDance’s TikTok while safeguarding their citizens’ enormously valuable data”

Kanak Mani Dixit on Twitter, 6/30/20: “TikTok was easy and a home for marginalised sections like us. We felt like home on TikTok. Other apps like Instagram are complicated. Nobody cheers us on other apps like the users on TikTok appreciated us.” via @ThePrintIndia

Anurag Shrivastava on Twitter, 6/30/20: I hope we stay the course. No mercy must be shown . No excuses accepted. add PUBG too . Zoom , jury is still out

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