Govt threatens to ban TikTok, Helo

In a notice to operators TikTok and Helo app, The government on Wednesday asked the applications to respond to accusations made on them by 22nd July 2019, or they would be banned. (Reuters File Photo)

In a notice to operators TikTok and Helo app, the government on Wednesday set a deadline and asked the companies to respond to accusations made on them by 22nd July 2019, or they would be facing a ban.

The Cyber Laws and e-Security wing of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has sent a list of questions to them on allegation that these platforms have become "a hub of anti-national activities", and has sought assurance that the data of Indian users are not being transferred at present and will not be transferred in future also "to any other foreign government or any third party or private entity", according to PTI.

The main concern of the ministry is the security of excessive data of the citizens collected by the apps. They have also questioned the app makers on their claims that their data is being stored in the US and Singapore only. Helo app has been reportedly questioned for paying a huge sum for putting 11,000 morphed political ads on other social media platforms

Recently, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SIMJ), the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had called for a ban on these apps to protect the country's national security.

They had also complained that some advertisements on the app were using morphed images of senior Indian political leaders. SJM's co-convener, Ashwani Mahajan had even requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban TikTok and Helo. 

TikTok and Helo in the joint statement said that they are grateful for the immense support given by India's growing digital community.

"Our continued success in India will not be possible without the support of our local community. We take our responsibilities to this community seriously and welcome this opportunity to fully collaborate with the Government to meet and exceed our obligations," the statement said.

India is one of the strongest market for TikTok and Helo.

"In line with our commitment to India, we are investing USD 1 billion dollars in India over the next three years, with a strategic focus on developing technology infrastructure, establishing local partnerships and supporting initiatives such as the Skill India Program which we are proud to be assisting with already," the statement said

(With inputs from PTI)

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