The government today banned 59 Chinese mobile apps, including the wildly popular TikTok, over national security and privacy concerns just weeks after a deadly Himalayan border clash between the nuclear-armed nations.
The apps are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”, the ministry of information technology said.
The ban on the app has cast a shadow over several celebrity accounts and handles of government agencies on the video-sharing platform.
There was a time when TikTok wasn’t very popular with the Bollywood stars but the app has now gained much recognition with them. From Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor to Madhuri Dixit – most of the tinsel town stars have been using TikTok as a medium to stay connected with their fans and promote their films.
Actors Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Kartik Aaryan and Kirti Sanon are also among the dozens of Bollywood celebrities who are a part of the TikTok bandwagon.
Even the government, untill very recently, had an active presence on TikTok. The now deleted MyGov India account was a verified one and had more than one million followers before it was removed from the platform.
MyGov isn’t the only official government account on TikTok.
From the Karnataka Government, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Maharashtra Public Health Department to the Data Security Council of India, several multiple government agencies have been using the platform to put out information on better data security practices, spreading awareness about COVID-19. The Press Information Bureau, the government’s nodal communication agency, has even been using its handle to share Prime Minister’s messages on India-China standoff.
The Railways, which has recently cancelled a signals contract with a Chinese company citing poor progress, had an account on TikTok. The now deleted IRCTC handle was focused on travel and benefits of booking train tickets via IRCTC.
Upset over the India-China standoff at the Line of Actual Control or LAC in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley which led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, citizens have been demanding a complete ban on Chinese apps in the country.