The Indian government on Monday banned as many as 59 mobile applications which have Chinese origin under section 6A of the Information Technology Act. The government banned apps including Shein, UC Browser, CamScanner and even TikTok which had a user base of over a million in India, stating that it found those apps to be "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India."
The order stating the ban came after the violent face-off between India and China on June 15 and 16, which took place in Ladakh's Galwan Valley, taking the lives of 20 Indian soldiers.
One day after the notice of the ban came out, the CEO of TikTok which is a famous platform for video making, editing and sharing; Kevin Mayer shared a message for 2,000 employees of the company in India in an open letter posted on their newsroom. He stated that the platform has faced an unforeseen challenge in India and said, "we stay resolved and committed to our mission, and are working with stakeholders to address their concerns."
Here's the full message of TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer's message:
At TikTok, our efforts are guided by our commitment to democratising the internet. To a large extent, we believe we have been successful in this effort. Our platform has encountered an unfortunate challenge in India. However, we stay resolved and committed to our mission, and are working with stakeholders to address their concerns. TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and places the highest importance on user privacy and integrity.
Since 2018, we have worked hard to ensure that over 200 million users in India are able to express their joy and creativity, celebrate self-expression, and share experiences with a growing global community.
TikTok has enabled hundreds of millions of users to enjoy the creative works of artists, storytellers, educators and performers from across the country who have forged new avenues of livelihood improvement. While sharing their skills and talents on a global stage, these performers, artists and entertainers have received opportunities for brand promotions and associations that were once considered the exclusive domain of film stars and sports celebrities. Today, it is a staple and reality for TikTok users even in remote cities, towns and villages across the country. Empowered individual creators have become the most sought-after for digital marketing campaigns. Small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs have been able to realise their growth ambitions and dreams by reaching out to thousands of potential customers and consumers on a daily basis, through the platform.
Our creator community is what defines us and we take pride in the diversity of the creators on our platform. These are unprecedented times but we remain committed to supporting the welfare of our TikTok creator community till this interim order is in effect. Our creator managers are actively engaging with our top creators to reassure them of our efforts and updates about the path forward.
Our daily audience of millions of users in India has come to rely on the joy and inspiration that TikTok provides every day in a unique and democratized environment.
Furthermore, TikTok has leveraged this power of the internet to create greater social awareness in partnership with global development organisations. Our partnership efforts with credible national and global organisations such as UN Women, United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF, and CRY have raised awareness and advocated for concerted action to end gender-based, domestic violence and child marriage.
Our employees are our biggest strength, and their well-being is our topmost priority. We have also assured more than 2,000 strong workforce that we will do everything in our power to restore the positive experiences and opportunities that they can be proud of.
We have been heartened and encouraged by your love and support for our platform, and promise to live up to the trust and faith you have shown in us. We look forward to continuing playing an active role in the mainframe of Digital India.