An Indian political group is calling on the ban of Chinese social media apps TikTok and Helo, just months after the former’s original ban was lifted.
The Swadeshi Jagran Manch – the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – has renewed calls for the apps to be banned in order to protect young people in India. It also believes that a ban would benefit the country’s national security and its startup ecosystem.
“While we have extensive regulation on foreign funding in media, these applications under the garb of social media platforms circumvent our domestic rules that exist to protect national security,” SJM’s All India Co-convener Ashwani Mahajan wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seen by the Economic Times.
“To prevent such applications from operating in India, we would humbly request the creation of a new law that requires testing and also regulation to protect our national security as well as the privacy of Indian users from countries with inimical interests to India. Until such a law is notified, all such Chinese applications, including TikTok and Helo should be banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs.”
TikTok was initially banned in April when they Indian government made it unavailable to download the app over concerns it encouraged pornography and made children vulnerable to sexual predators. The ban meant that existing users could continue to use the app but nobody new could download it via the App Store or Google Play.
Just weeks later, TikTok was made available to download again after a state court reversed its decision following an appeal from the app’s parent company Bytedance.