Shortly after the Chinese short video platform Tiktok along with 58 other apps were banned by the Indian government in lieu of national security and growing tensions with China, Kevin Mayer, TikTok’s US-based CEO, wrote to the Indian Government on June 28th offering to setup an Engineering centre for research and development of their products while repeating their plans to establish a local data centre, and also sought a personal meeting to explain their data handling protocols.
Meanwhile, an inter-ministerial committee formed by the Indian government to inquire into the data handling protocols of chinese companies, is expected to begin their hearings in the coming week.
India is the biggest market for tiktok, having around 200 million tiktok users, whose data was being stored in servers located in Singapore and US, as told by the company in past – and this is being highlighted as a significant threat to national security and privacy, in response to which the company reiterated their plans of establishing a data centre locally in India.
In his letter, Kevin Mayer wrote that TikTok is willing to cooperate with the government and wants to understand all the issues. He also mentioned that TikTok gives highest priority to security and privacy, and that they have not shared any data with the Chinese government, neither will share in future. He also mentioned that the company has more than 3,500 direct and indirect employees in India.
Even though tiktok was downloaded 611 million times in India during the first quarter of 2020 – i.e. more than 30 percent of it’s total downloads worldwide during that quarter, but after the nation-wide ban of the 59 chinese apps, the China-based parent company of tiktok – ByteDance Ltd, is anticipating a loss of over 6 billion US Dollars.