As the Center decided to ban 59 Chinese apps for good, ByteDance, which owns the TikTok and Helo apps, decided to shut down its operations in India and “ downsize ” its workforce.

According to sources from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), application companies have been asked to provide some requirements in recent months, but have made no progress, so that a permanent ban was the final solution.

Some of the big names banned are TikTok, Baidu, WeChat, Alibaba’s UC browser, Club Factory shopping app, Xiaomi’s Mi Video Call, Bigo, and Likee.

“The interim order has been turned into a final order, so they are permanently banned from operating in India. We are not satisfied with the answers they provided. We cannot allow apps that pose a threat to the security of the nation, ”a senior MeitY official said. Activity area.

TikTok said it is still evaluating the review (final order) and will respond to it as appropriate.

Lack of direction

“However, it is disappointing that over the next seven months, despite our best efforts, we have not received clear direction on how and when our applications could be reinstated. It is deeply regrettable that after supporting our more than 2,000 employees in India for over six months, we have no choice but to downsize our workforce, ”said a spokesperson for TikTok.

TikTok said it was among the first to comply with the Centre’s directive, released on June 29, 2020, and continually strives to comply with local laws and regulations. “We look forward to receiving the opportunity to relaunch TikTok and support the hundreds of millions of users, artists, storytellers, educators and performers in India,” the company added.

A Xiaomi spokesperson said, “Mi India is complying with all government orders and will continue to do so and engage with relevant stakeholders for the same.”

Optimistic Indian rivals

Meanwhile, local app owners have said that the permanent ban on Chinese apps is a huge motivator for the entire Indian start-up ecosystem, which can now flaunt its skills and spirit. ‘company.

“We are seeing strong growth in terms of user content consumption and more. So we are happy that the government has taken such a tough step, ”said Aditya Kothari, co-founder and chief strategist of Chingari, a short video app.

“It’s sad to hear that so many people had to be fired because of this move from TikTok. We had expected this for a long time. None of the companies or founders want this (for layoffs). We will hire some of the potential talent, ”Kothari added.

Analysts following the developments also agreed that government support is needed for local apps to thrive.

“We need to have a deeper understanding and control over what happens at the application level to protect user privacy and data. Banning suspicious apps is therefore the best solution. However, we will also have to support the local configuration, to find alternatives, ”said Faisal Kawoosa, founder and chief analyst of techARC.

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