August 17, 2022

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[UPDATED] Yes, TikTok unban is happening in India soon!

With PUBG Mobile making an announcement of its coming back to India, it has opened doors for the banned Chinese apps. More than 200 such Chinese apps had faced digital strikes by the Indian government from June 2020 onwards. This includes one of the most popular household Chinese app TikTok ban.

The Indian government had to take the extreme step of banning these apps since they were a threat to national data security and user data privacy. The government’s order said that the banned apps were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order” due to which extreme steps had been taken.

PUBG Corp announced yesterday about its comeback with a game “created specifically for the Indian market“. It has agreed to comply with the Indian government’s data security laws. It has gone to the extent of agreeing to take over publishing duties and storage of data in India by Azure servers.

With the announcement of the PUBG unban in Indian news, the fanbase of TikTok can hope for a TikTok unban happening in near future. Supporting them is an email from TikTok India head, Nikhil Gandhi. In communication over job security with the employees, he has assured us that TikTok is in talks with the Indian government. Sounding optimistic on the basis of developments, he strongly felt that TikTok unban announcement should happen in the coming days. He continued to say,

“We have demonstrated unequivocal commitment to comply with the local laws, including data privacy and security requirements, and are therefore optimistic about a positive outcome. Our clarifications have been submitted to the Government and we will continue to allay any further concerns they may have. Together with our employees, we remain dedicated to our users and creators who have found not only recognition but also new avenues of livelihood through our platform.”

This is an official word for the company employees. However, there is no word from TikTok on the status of the talks. TikTok has the largest user base in India and would undoubtedly not like to lose the chunk of revenue coming from the Indian market.

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After the TikTok ban, there were reports of its operations being taken over by biggies like Microsoft, Reliance, and even Airtel. Several competitors popped up to hog the strong user base. Even Instagram was quick to launch a TikTok rival by the name of Instagram Reels. However, these could not make inroads as TikTok did.

Updates on TikTok Unban as of 1st June 2022

TikTok is planning for a relaunch in India soon. As per the news reported in Economic Times, Bytedance is planning to once again get into India market through a partnership with Hiranandani Group. The talks between the two parties are in the initial stage. The hiring activity by Bytedance in India has also increased of late suggesting a positive comeback this time. It is also rumoured that the concerned Indian government officials have been made aware of the plans. The same has been confirmed by a senior government official to ET

“There have been no formal talks with us yet. Butwe have been informed of the plans. As and when they come to us for approvals, we will examine their request.”

Mumbai based Hiranandani Group is in the real estate sector with projects spread across Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai. It also owns data centre operations under the Yotta Infrastructure Solutions. Industry experts are also speculating that Bytedance might join hands with Hiranandani’s Tez Platforms or can team up with the group’s Yotta Infrastructure’s data centres.

TikTok is owned by China-based Bytedance Technology. The online video platform has been particularly successful in India. Any mobile user with the internet can easily create and share short-form videos with digital effects. All can be done without any technical expertise. Tiktok had turned out to be a platform to express oneself and one’s talent. Anyone who couldn’t get a chance to act or a stage to perform could find a medium in TikTok to express themselves.

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However, in a span of around 2 years, the TikTok ban in India has given birth to many competitors like Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, Snapchat, Chingari, ShareChat, and many more local apps like MX Takatak, Moj, Josh. But no one has been able to capture the market the way TikTok did. It is hoped that this time Bytedance will follow all the rules and start a new and successful chapter in India.