Before we speak on the fact “scrutiny of Chinese firms (Tik Tok and Helo apps) from government” first let us know what exactly they are?
TikTok app was launched in 2017 by ByteDance, which is a Beijing ByteDance Technology Co Ltd. founded by Zhang Yiming in 2012, a Chinese Internet technology company operating several machine learning-enabled content platforms. It is used for creating and sharing short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos on iOS and Android social media video app. Chinese company ByteDance has previously launched Douyin for the China market.
Helo is another Chinese firm which is the best Indian, Social App with 50,000,000+ users and mass of videos and images for free downloading, sharing, chatting and making friends. Through this app one could explore India in a best way to know what’s happening in India and discover thousands of comedy and romantic status videos and to share them with friends and family. Through Helo, one can always know what’s happening around the world.
Things are very clear, if everything have been going smoothly and are without any complaints then the things are happy going. But, if something goes beyond the privacy & security and suspected for illegal activities then the matter goes in question.
The same thing happened with TikTok and Helo apps. The notices had been issued to popular Chinese social media apps TikTok and Helo by the government along with a list of 24 questions. Questions were prepared regarding the alleged misuse of their platforms for “anti-national activities” in India. The Centre has warned these apps that they might face a ban in India, if they do not submit suitable responses by July 22, 2019.
The action from the Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) follows a grievance after the ministry’s strong complaints received from some agencies and a letter written to the prime minister by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM). The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) co-convener Ashwani Mahajan in the letter had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday last on July 14 to ban TikTok and Helo, claiming that TikTok and Helo social media applications had become a hub for “anti-national” content as they were exposing India’s youth to being influenced by “financial gains”.
Recently, it was found that anti-national content is being shared extensively on TikTok and Helo apps. It has become a hub for these activities and which can rupture the fabric of our society stated by Mahajan. Helo was found paying a sum of Rs 7 crore for over 11,000 morphed political ads on other social media platforms. He complained that some of these advertisements were using transformed pictures of senior Indian political leaders. Some BJP leaders also during the last Lok Sabha polls had written the election commission about the matter on the apps
It was also demanded by Mahajan that the Ministry of Home Affairs should ban all the Chinese apps, including TikTok and Helo, in the country as some segments of the Chinese establishment enclose negative intentions with regard to the sovereignty and integrity of India.
When government contacted, TikTok and Helo firms, then in a joint statement it was replied by Chinese firms that India is one of their strongest markets and they will fully collaborate with the government to meet their obligations.
On allegation that these platforms have become “a hub of anti-national activities”, Then Meity wanted reply from TikTok and Helo and require assurance that the data of Indian users will not be conveyed in future to any other foreign government or any third party or private entities. The IT ministry has also asked Helo to respond on allegations that it paid a huge sum for putting 11,000 gradually transformed political ads on other social media sites.
The most important concerns was around the violation of child privacy norms, the ministry has also demanded the explanation on the fixation of minimum entry age to 13 years, since in India, a person below 18 is considered a child.
Meity also asked TikTok and Helo about excessive data collected by them, number and kind of information sought by law enforcement agencies, employees and offices they have in India and if minors are prohibited from watching content with “risk warning tag”.
The Cyber Laws and e-security wing of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) on Wednesday sent notice to TikTok and Helo app operators to act in response to concerns that they were committing anti-Indian and unlawful activities. Otherwise these platforms may face a ban in India and face action as per the relevant provisions of the IT Act and other laws.
tik tok Banned in India News: TikTok and Helo have responded to the government letter and have issued a statement. We are happy to be part of the mainframe of Digital India in 15 Indian languages and India is one of our strongest markets. They also said that in agreement with our commitment to India, we are investing $1 billion dollars in India over the next three years, establishing local partnerships and supporting initiatives such as the Skill India Program, with a planned focus on developing technology infrastructure, which we are proud to be assisting with already. They also claimed that their continued success in India will not be possible without the support of their local community. They also said that they will be looking into the matter seriously and acknowledge this opportunity to fully collaborate with the Government to meet and beat our obligations,” said a TikTok and Helo spokesperson.
The Meity officials routinely take a look at the apps and services used by Indian users and in the past have raised concerns about apps like Facebook and WhatsApp also.