Indian Government asked 77 questions to Tiktok & 58 other banned chinese applications, even if they censored the content, worked for foreign governments, or put pressure on influencers.
India’s Ministry of Information Technology has given companies three weeks to respond to the questionnaire, which has been seen by Reuters, and has said unspecified follow-up action will be taken, two sources said.
India last month banned the apps after a border clash between soldiers from the two countries, which killed 20 Indian soldiers. India said the applications threatened its “sovereignty and integrity”. China has criticized the ban.
The 59 banned apps, including TikTok and Alibaba’s UC browser, were asked if they acted at the request of a foreign government to edit, promote, or downgrade content.
One of the themes of the questionnaire is whether the content was censored after an attack last year by a militant group based in Pakistan in the Pulwama district of Kashmir. The attack killed at least 40 Indian police officers and heightened tensions between India and Pakistan.
In the aftermath of the 2019 Pulwama attack, did the company / app censor content related to the attack or its perpetrators? The question reads.
TikTok said it strives to respond to the ministry’s requests and complies with all Indian laws, adding that the security and privacy of user data is its top priorities.
The app ban has shaken ByteDance’s ambitions in India, where its TikTok video app was hugely popular.
Neither Alibaba nor the Indian ministry responded to requests for comment.
A source close to the government’s thoughts said that the requests were in accordance with federal procedures and that the same questions had been sent to all the companies concerned.
One question is whether business leaders in India have contacted movie stars, social media influencers or journalists to promote content, even if the communication was not for commercial purposes.
Other questions concerned advertisers, business structures, tax practices and privacy policies, the document showed.
The government also asked the application companies if they had been investigated in the United States, the European Union, or elsewhere for surreptitiously collecting user data.
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