Nikhil Gandhi, India Head, Technology News, ETtech

Chinese short videos platform TikTok has not shared information of Indian users with any foreign government, nor has it used such data to compromise the integrity of the country, its India head Nikhil Gandhi said in a blog post on Wednesday.

He added that even if requested to do so in future, it would not.

TikTok was one of 59 Chinese apps banned by the government last month, citing risks to national security. The government has sought clarifications from these apps on security, safety, and ownership details.

TikTok has submitted its response to the government and is working with it to provide clarifications to allay any concerns, Gandhi said.

Throughout the duration of its operations, TikTok demonstrated “unequivocal commitment” to complying with local laws, including data privacy and security requirements, he added.

TikTok hasn't shared user data, won't, even if asked: Nikhil Gandhi, India Head
The government had given the 59 banned apps three weeks — from the day of receiving the questions — to respond. It had warned that the ban would become permanent if they failed to do so.

The committee has representatives from the home affairs, electronics and IT, information and broadcasting, and law and justice ministries, along with officials from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the country’s nodal cyber security agency. Gandhi said TikTok remains committed to its creator community in India, which entertains millions of TikTok users worldwide with their talent, enabling crosscultural exchanges and global engagements.

“Artists, storytellers, educators, and performers from across the country have found not only recognition but also new avenues to livelihood improvement through our platform in India,” he said.

Popular across India’s hinterland, TikTok had snagged 200 million registered users in the country and had been downloaded 660 million times since launch two years ago, accounting for 30% of its overall global downloads.

After the ban, at least half a dozen Indian competitors have sprung up, vying to replace the ByteDance-owned app and aggressively wooing TikTok creators to switch to their platforms permanently.

Asia’s fifth-largest economy is now the battleground for Chinese and American internet majors vying to dominate one of the world’s largest and most open internet markets, with an estimated base of 450 million smartphone users.

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