NEW DELHI: A day after the government ordered the “blocking” of 59 Chinese apps, some of them, such as TikTok and Club Factory, decided to approach the Centre seeking to clarify their position, while maintaining that they were compliant with Indian regulations.
The statements came as Apple and Google said they were yet to receive official communication to remove all the 59 Chinese apps from their platforms. As a result, some of the apps such as CamScanner could be downloaded on devices even on Tuesday — 24 hours after the ministry of electronics and IT announced the government decision to “block” apps since they were seen to be accessing devices and unauthorisedly sharing data.
Apple has received an order under Section 69A of the IT Act to remove the popular Chinese video sharing app TikTok from its App Store, sources told TOI. Orders for the removal of the remaining 58 apps, including UC Browser, Club Factory and Shein, were yet to be received till late Tuesday evening.
Google, which runs the ubiquitous Android store, had received official orders to remove around 20 apps so far, sources said. “We don’t implement orders based on mere press releases. We need clearly-defined instructions based on existing rules governing the content and app ecosystem,” said an executive. Several of the apps could be downloaded on Google Play Store late Tuesday evening. Official sources said the IT ministry has asked the department of telecom to instruct ISPs and telecom operators to take down the apps, while also blocking content on those already downloaded.
The Apple executive said removing an app “randomly, without any government order” will make the firm liable for action in courts.
Separately, entities representing TikTok and Club Factory said they have not violated any law. TikTok, the first one to pull out its app from the Apple and Google play stores, said it will approach the government.
“The government of India has issued an interim order for the blocking… and we are complying with it. We’ve been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications,” Nikhil Gandhi, head of TikTok India, said.