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Evolution Of Indian Apps And Demise Of Chinese APPS

This document discusses the Reasons why Indian Government banned Tiktok and 58 other apps, these apps were removed Lawfully under IT Act,2000 and the other motive of removing such Apps is to reduce Negativity from Social Media Platforms. However, these apps were Deleted keeping in Mind the Security and Privacy Needs of Indian Citizens as these apps have access to an abundance of People’s Data.

The Attention Gathering turn for Indian Government towards the working of these Chinese apps were some
Grisly videos promoting Gender Discrimination, Acid Attacks, and More on Tiktok.These videos were shared on Twitter showing the Recklessness of such Social Media Apps’ Policies.

Temporary Removal of a Competitor

A few days before the Official statement by Indian Government, Google Play Store bans an Indian Competitor of Tiktok App as it was also Against Google’s Privacy Policies which says that the app doesn’t support Deletion of an Ongoing account which ultimately refers that a User once signed into the app cannot remove its data from the app’s server, which is unfavorable too. Although the CEO of Mitron Fixed the bugs and redesigned the User’s Policies to avoid complications in the Future and Ultimately the App was back on the Play Store after a couple of Days.

Success to similar Indian Platforms

After the ban was Imposed on Tiktok, the Indian Competitors of TikTok such as Chingari, Mitron, Roposo and ShareChat received tons of new Users. Also, these Homegrown Apps were well received from the audience in terms of layout and Features.

Reasons as per IT Act, 2000

Tik Tok was already the subject of litigation in India with the Supreme Court refusing to hear a plea for the transfer of cases relating to a ban imposed by the Madras High Court.
The Madras High Court held on April 24 lifted its ban on the social media app with the condition that the platform should not be used to host obscene videos. The high court had on April 3 directed the Centre to ban mobile application TikTok as it had voiced concern over "pornographic and inappropriate content" being made available through such apps.
Hearing a plea by Chinese company ByteDance, which owns TikTok, challenging the ban, the Supreme Court had refused to stay the high court order but asked it to raise its grievances before the high court. The company had earlier told the top court that there were over billion downloads of the mobile app and ex-parte orders were passed by the high court.
The government had also asked tech giants Google and Apple to comply with the Madras High Court's order. Sources said instructions in this regard were sent to the two American companies after the Supreme Court refused to stay the ban.

TikTok was one of 59 Chinese mobile applications that the government banned on June 29th, accusing them of causing a threat to national security by stealing and transferring the data of Indian users to locations outside the country. TikTok was planning to approach the government with its contention that it did not misuse the data.


Now, the two main provisions of Information Technology Act,2000 taken into account at the Time of imposing the ban by the Supreme Court were

Section 69A of IT Act, 2000

Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, was introduced by an amendment to the Act in 2008. It gives the Central government the power to block public access to any information online — whether on websites or mobile apps.

Under Section 69A, if a website threatens India’s defence, its sovereignty and integrity, friendly relations with foreign countries, and public order, the government can ban it, after following due procedure.

Section 79 of IT Act, 2000

As per Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 ("IT Act") an intermediary would not be held liable for any third party information, data, or communication link made available or hosted by him provided that the intermediary's functionality is limited to providing access to a communication system over which information made available by third parties is transmitted, temporarily stored or hosted or if the intermediary does not– (i) initiate the transmission, (ii) select the receiver of the transmission, and (iii) select or modify the information contained in the transmission. The exemption would not be applicable if the intermediary is involved in the unlawful act or if the intermediary fails to take down any unlawful content upon receiving actual knowledge of such content.

Tik-Tok can be deemed an "intermediary" under the IT Act. The petitioner had incorrectly compared the Tik-Tok to the infamous "Blue-Whale" application, which unlike Tik-Tok is not an intermediary. Through an interim order, the Hon'ble High Court had directed the Government to prohibit any further downloads of the app and asked the Central Government whether it would enact any statute specifically protecting the privacy of children online, akin to US's Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA").

The COPPA was enacted to protect the children and make the website operators more diligent towards the protection of personal data. The resultant obligations ensure that the websites obtain consent from the parents prior to collecting or processing any child's information. COPPA requires site operators to allow parents to review any information collected from the children. This entails that the website would have to provide full access to all user records, profiles, and log-in information upon being requested by the parent.

Summary of Court Proceedings[i]

The Supreme Court refused to hear a plea made by Chinese social media app TikTok for the transfer of cases relating to ban on it from the Madras High Court to the apex court. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi did not agree with the contention of senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for the Chinese firm, that all the matters pending in the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court.

"We are not inclined to entertain this transfer petition," the bench, which also had Justice Deepak Gupta, said prompting the firm to withdraw its transfer plea. Earlier, the apex court had directed the Madras High Court to decide on April 24 the plea of TikTok seeking interim relief of lifting the ban imposed by it.

The Madras High Court had on April 24 lifted its ban on the social media app with the condition that the platform should not be used to host obscene videos. The high court had on April 3 directed the Centre to ban mobile application TikTok as it had voiced concern over "pornographic and inappropriate content" being made available through such apps. It had passed an interim order on public interest litigation which sought a ban on the app on the ground that it allegedly carried contents that "degraded culture and encouraged pornography".

Hearing a plea by Chinese company ByteDance, which owns TikTok, challenging the ban, the Supreme Court had refused to stay the high court order but asked it to raise its grievances before the high court.

Present Scenario

Now a Month after banning 59 Chinese Apps in India MeitY(Ministry of Electronics and Information technology) is Planning for barring 47 additional Chinese Apps which are primarily the Clone versions of Banned apps. Also, These bans would safeguard Indian users’ data and protect the country against the potential threat these apps pose to our national security.

Moreover, this initiative will further open up opportunities for more Indian apps to take up the limelight and onboard users to provide them with their services. Homegrown apps already witnessed a significant increase in downloads and user signups on their platforms after the Government's ban announcement last month.

Earlier this week, few reports also claimed that the Indian government has prepared a list of 275 apps which are under scrutiny for violation of national security and user privacy. This list reportedly includes PUBG Mobile, Ludo World, 14 Mi apps by Xiaomi, AliExpress, Resso, and ULike. Notably, though, the government is yet silent on this. Written By Vishesh Kumar

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