Google has temporarily blocked access to all the apps that were banned by the Government of India earlier this week but remained available on Play Store in the country. “While we continue to review the interim orders from the Government of India, we have notified the affected developers,” a Google spokesperson told CNBC-TV18. Meanwhile, Apple has pulled down applications like Club Factory, Shein, Bigo Live, Meitu, Mobile Legends, UC browser, and a few more apps from App Store.
The government set up a committee under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), in keeping with the Information Technology Rules of 2009, to permit the affected Chinese companies to file their responses. The government held its first meeting on Wednesday. Citing security and privacy concerns, the government earlier this week banned 59 Chinese applications including popular video-sharing app TikTok, file-sharing app SHAREit, UC Browser, messaging platform WeChat among others.
The ban was invoked under section 69A of the Information Technology Act and the provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009. After the decision was announced, TikTok issued a statement saying it was in the process of complying with the government’s order on blocking of the app and asserted that it has not shared information of Indian users with any foreign government, including China’s.
“The Government of India has issued an interim order for the blocking of 59 apps, including TikTok, and we are in the process of complying with it. We have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications,” Nikhil Gandhi, Head of TikTok, India, said. TikTok has stopped working completely for users in India.