After clashes with Chinese forces on the Indoo-China border in Ladakh, and violent clashes on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead, the Indian government On June, 2020 banned 59 Chinese app and its usage, citing threat to “sovereignty and integrity of India”. In September, 118 apps were shut down, and the most prominent name on the list at the time was PUBG Mobile. In July, the government again banned the first 59 clone applications.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology MeITY’s directs state that these applications were prohibited from performing activities that “violate Indian sovereignty and integrity, to protect India, national security and public order,” under Section 69A of the Information and Technology (IT) Act.
The list included TikTok, Helo, We Chat, Alibaba’s UC Browser and UC News, Shein, Club Factory, Likee, Bigo Live, Kwai, Clash of Kings and Cam Scanner and many other.
It was said by the experts that the ban created an uncertain regulatory environment. The potential loss of advertising revenue affects app developers. The parent of Tik Tok ByteDance Ltd. recorded a recurrence of global revenue to $ 17 billion in 2019, last year, at a profit of $ 3 billion.
The Indian business is likely to generate only $ 5.8 million for the year in March 2019, but with the recent consumer acceptance, the stocks seem to be on the rise. When TikTok was temporarily banned in India last year for allegedly promoting pornography, the company had told a local court that it was losing about $ 15 million a month as a result of the ban, according to a Reuters report. The application then was approved for use.
China has said it suspects India’s actions and says it could be in violation of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. In a statement, China’s ambassador to New Delhi said, “India’s rate of discrimination is aimed at other Chinese applications for complex and far-reaching reasons, contradicting the requirements of fair and transparent procedures, violating alternative security in the country, and violating WTO rules. It is also contrary to the general practice of international trade and e-commerce, and is inconsistent with consumer interests and market competition in India. ”
In practice, there are two options for government under Section 69A of the IT Act to issue ban orders. In the case of the ban on 59 applications, based on the use of the term “interim order” in a statement issued by TikTok, it appears that the government may have adopted an emergency route. The emergency route allows content to be blocked at the behest of the Secretary of the IT Department, who must review the content and record his or her reasons for doing so. In the normal process, a content restraint order requires:
(a) a decision to be made by a government committee
(b) qualified mediators to be given the opportunity to be heard by the committee.
While it is unlikely that the companies involved could take immediate action, it would be possible for any affected person in India to challenge the court injunction. The courts will then decide whether the government has provided adequate information about the links between these alleged activities and the reasons cited by the government such as national security and strategic interests. The courts will also consider whether the ban is an equitable and necessary step to take, given the facts it faces.