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TikTok distanced itself from China in letter to Modi govt before India banned it: Report

In a 28 June letter, TikTok CEO wrote to India that the Chinese government has never requested user data, and the firm wouldn’t turn it over if asked.

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New Delhi: ByteDance-owned short video app TikTok had sought to distance itself from China in a letter to the Narendra Modi government just a day before India banned it along with 58 other Chinese apps, a Reuters report has said based on correspondence it accessed.

In his letter to the Modi government on 28 June, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer reportedly said that the Chinese government has never requested user data, and the company wouldn’t turn it over if asked.

“I can confirm that the Chinese government has never made a request to us for the TikTok data of Indian users,” the letter reportedly said, noting that Indian user data is stored in Singapore.

“If we do ever receive such a request in the future, we would not comply,” Mayer wrote, according to Reuters.

The American executive has been TikTok’s CEO since 1 June. He is also the chief operating officer of ByteDance.

The report said TikTok sent the letter ahead of a “likely” meeting with the government next week. It also cited an Indian government source to say that the ban is unlikely to be lifted any time soon. It added that legal challenges to the ban may not be successful as India has banned the app on the grounds of national security.

The move came as TikTok reportedly looks to distance itself from its Chinese roots and appear more global. The app is not available in China.

TikTok and China

ByteDance has a version of TikTok available in China called Douyin. The app is massively popular among Chinese users just like TikTok is overseas.

A TechCrunch report said in January that Douyin has 400 million daily active users in China.

Since its 2017 launch, TikTok has become one of the fastest growing social media apps, with India serving as its largest user base followed by the US. It had reached 2 billion downloads globally, counting 200 million users in India at the time of the ban.


Also read: Video-sharing app Chingari, the ‘accidental’ Indian start-up that’s replacing TikTok


 

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1 COMMENT

  1. OPEN-LETTER:
    Ahh…!

    Hello Mr Mayer( a TWDC® alum!), whatever occurred?

    Can you still reach-out to your preceding “backstabbing” gated-community and ask some of your trusted “friends” that whether continuing the legacy of political-censorship à la amazon® prime™ video India[ under the patronage of your immediate Asia-Pacific underling, “#MeTooIndia” accused Mr Uday Shankar*] has helped in their business-prospects, after all? I mean.. They do quite a lot of grovelling, as well. Things that likely won them not just unfettered documentary-filmmaking access to the POTROI’s elite security team, 2019 election proceedings in select states, et al. and certainly, the rights to “Khelo India®” and other such state-supervised domains?
    Who knows, huh? Maybe you’ll learn “a thing or two” from your preceding[ housing-society] and hopefully, either deploy TikTok®[ or any other of ‘glocalisable’ offering by your angelic employer at ByteDance®] for similar “initiatives” or make your regally-paid engineers evolve into one.
    I mean.. In an ideal-universe, you shouldn’t care much and stop having a job since you’re already a […] millionaire but since it’s not and it can’t be. Seriously, after how you got sidetracked by your “Big Brother”** in Mr Robert “Bob” Iger, who preferred PRC-chummy “Bob” ‘Baldie’*** Chapek, it was very human that you you’ve to prove yourself by beating them at their own chess — right? After all, what could be a better route than to jump ship at the right opportune of a PRC tech-multinational offering you such a lucrative “upgrade”? Even better, all Thanks to the pandemic: Under the pretext of lockdown, you get remain firmly seated in your Hollywood home — communicating from your company-covered high-speed internet and writing all these letters, like this one, FOR A FULL PAY! After all.. It must be the “lOwEr sKilLeD” peasants working under you, across borders must be the one to take a hit — no? After all.. All of them can’t ever come close to knowing how stressful living out your life in a high-security place as Hollywood can be, and that too: Being an unstoppable Capitalist, CAN. BE!!!

    *Formerly, under THAT! ‘Course.
    **Don’t sue me, Mr “Bob” Bakish! Besides.. This is not Murica and besides, you’re a[n Ashkenazi] Jew without optional Israeli citizenship so.. I would join India’s GOP in a heartbeat and see! Now what will be the dilemma of perennially-chummy state-patron in “Bada Ambani”? At least he’s a promoter[ with his immediate-family( Oriental cultures!)] with concentrated voting-shares, whereas you’re just a very, very, very high-profile media executive/manager with baronial remuneration because after all.. You’re the body-man of actual Baroness, the largest individual-owner of a recombined empire( once a-gain!) whom you’ve been relegated to co-manage, see your usability..? Oh, Fff…( CBS®’ censorship benchmarks!) Errmmm.. Ok! To serve penance, hereby I invite you to: Libel-shop in the World’s Largest Democracy! I assure you, you’ll walk away with far more than a simple win in a otherworldly “civil” legal-battle and wholesome icing on the cake with cherries covering on the top: With perfectly zero harm to your ongoing career-health. And ‘course! The additional hit to the consistently-tanking stocks( exclusively from my side, that is).
    ***Given the endless wonder that is humanity: I can’t deny that such a favouritist-bias must exist, but I can’t think of a convincing enough reason for him getting chosen over you, primarily because of his given-name/nickname.

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