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Why PM Narendra Modi banned Tik Tok and 59 Chinese app ?
7/8/2020 12:12:53 AM

Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit

Tik Tok was one of the 59 Chinese apps that were banned by Modi government a few days back. Our Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had called it a digital strike on the Chinese apps. The decision comes at a time of heightened border tensions between India and China.
TikTok had sought to distance itself from China in a letter to Modi government just a day before India banned it along with 58 other Chinese apps.Since its 2017 launch, TikTok has become one of the fastest growing social media apps, with India serving as its largest user base followed by the US. Its arrival in India in 2017 opened the doors to fame for many ordinary Indians. It had reached 2 billion downloads globally, counting 200 million users in India at the time of the ban. The move to ban Tik Tok comes in the backdrop of the current stand-off along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh with Chinese troops.
Among the other banned Chinese apps are UC Browser, Helo, Likee, CamScanner, Vigo Video, Mi Video Call – Xiaomi, and Clash of Kings. In India, TikTok’s success was massive. India has been the biggest driver of new TikTok downloads, generating close to 660 million installs since its launch in 2017.
According to the statistics of 2019, a whopping 39% of the 500 million users of the app globally were from India. Right before the ban, India became the app’s largest market. But the troubles with this were also massive. According to the sources, it is said that the reasoning given by the government was that these 59 apps are "engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order."
Don’t we think PM Modi’s decision to ban Tik Tok and scores of other Chinese apps is being viewed as a slap on the wrist of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for making moves to grab India’s territory in eastern Ladakh and not de-escalating ? Nationalists of our country now see it as a warning salvo at the establishment in China to behave or be ready for more punishment on the economic front. Ban on Chinese apps should thus be taken as a warning by the US Big Tech corporations like Twitter, Facebook, Google etc to stay neutral at least in their operations in India.
Top social media platforms such as TikTok, Helo and WeChat came under the ambit of the ban, giving a serious jolt to China's dream of setting up a Digital Silk Route. Content sharing platform TikTok is the first among the list of apps banned. We all know that Tik Tok in recent years, has become a tool for members of many marginalised communities to create their own videos and in absence of TikTok, the marketplace of ideas becomes smaller.
Recently, in an interview with India TV, actress Ashnoor Kaur, who has 3.2 million followers on TikTok, celebrated the government's move saying it presented an opportunity for India to become self-sufficient and use homegrown apps. One agrees that TikTok is a platform that celebrates creativity & expression. TikTok has not only objectionable videos but is also pushing youngsters towards unproductive life where they are living only for few followers and even dying when no. We can always use other apps and the best thing is to have an Indian app. Why should we depend on others when we have educated and able youth in our own country?
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