India tops requests on TikTok, China not on list

New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) India sent a total of 118 requests to the Chinese short-video making platform TikTok in the in the first half of 2019 (January 1-June 30, 2019) to take certain actions against those accounts.

The strange part is that there was not a single request from China, TikTok’s home country where the app functions as a different name Douyin, which has stricter control.

While there were 107 legal requests, the Indian government asked information for 11 accounts, requesting to take down content deemed to be in violation of local laws, or to provide information related to accounts under certain defined circumstances, TikTok said in its first transparency report, mimicking US tech companies who have the practice of revealing such information.

For 107 legal requests from India, TikTok which has nearly 200 million users in the country acted in 47 per cent cases while for the government requests, it removed eight accounts.

The US was second with 79 requests related to 255 accounts, and received information on 86 per cent of its requests. Third was Japan with 35 requests linked to 39 accounts.

TikTok has seen nearly 1.5 billion downloads globally and the US market with 37.6 million downloads is at the third sport, after India and China.

“In balancing our responsibilities to law enforcement with our respect for the privacy of our users, we respond only to legally valid requests and only with the requisite amount of information needed,” said Eric Ebenstein, TikTok’s public policy chief.

The transparency report follows the US Army and Navy banning the app owned by Beijing-based ByteDance.

ByteDance has reportedly been under scrutiny from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) after lawmakers demanded an investigation to see whether the Chinese government can collect users’ data or control the content that is shared.

TikTok became the first Chinese-owned app to reach first place in the US Apple App Store last November.

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