‘Let’s stop foreign dependency’: Union minister on China-linked apps ban
Ravi Shankar Prasad urged Indians to come up with new good apps for the country, in line with PM’s atmanirbhar Bharat vision.Updated: Jul 01, 2020 15:43 IST
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad underscored on Wednesday that the ban on Chinese mobile apps is a great opportunity to help Indians come up with good apps of their own and end foreign dependence for such things.
“In the wake of the ban which we have imposed...I think it is a great opportunity. Can we come up with good apps made by Indians? Let the dependence on foreign apps, with their own agenda for a variety of reasons, stop,” said the IT and telecom minister.
Citing national security concerns, the central government on Monday decided to ban 59 mobile applications, including the wildly popular TikTok, linked to China. Government officials told Hindustan Times that the deliberations to ban the apps were fast-tracked after June 15 violent scrap between soldiers at Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh.
A statement by Ravi Shankar Prasad’s information technology ministry said the decision was taken as these applications were “engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
Beijing on Tuesday said it was “strongly concerned” about New Delhi’s decision to ban Chinese mobile applications. It stressed on cooperation between the two countries and underlined that the ban would go against “India’s interests”.
TikTok, a video-sharing platform to create short videos, stopped working in India on Tuesday as the company appeared to comply with the ban. It also no longer came up in searches on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, while the company disabled the webpage. Some of the other prominent applications – such as WeChat and CamScanner – continued to work and were available on the application stores of both platforms till Tuesday night.
TikTok, according to Bloomberg data, had nearly 200 million users in India as of January this year and had become one of the most prominent social media tools used by young Indians.
In a statement issued by TikToK, the company’s India head, Nikhil Gandhi, said they “have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications”.