Update (30/06/2020): TikTok’s desktop site and mobile app are inaccessible for users with a message saying we’re complying with the government’s interim order.
Last night, India banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, Helo, and WeChat alleging that these apps steal data and send it to servers that are not located in India.
Now, TikTok’s Android and iOS apps have disappeared from both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Bytedance’s other app Helo has also vanished from both stores. However, several other apps including UC Browser, WeChat, Bigo Live, and Shein were still available to download on both stores.
India‘s IT ministry issued the press release last night, invoking section 69 of the IT ACT 2000 that gives the government power to block certain services. However, it might be hard to enforce a complete block.
TikTok India head Nikhil Gandhi said in a statement the company is in process of complying with the government’s order. He added that TikTok has been invited to meet authorities to respond to this order and submit clarifications.
— TikTok India (@TikTok_IN) June 30, 2020
If you have the TikTok app on your phone, you’ll still be able to use it regardless of the ban. Also, for Android users, there’s an option of sideloading the app. Plus, you can access TikTok’s short videos on the web too.
We’ve asked for more details from Bytedance, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.