India’s government has banned TikTok and dozens more Chinese-made apps it says are a danger to the country.
TikTok (Chinese: 抖音; pinyin: Dǒuyīn) is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It is used to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos. ByteDance first launched Douyin for the China market in September 2016. Later, TikTok was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android in most markets outside of China; however, it only became available in the United States after merging with Musical.ly on 2 August 2018. TikTok and Douyin are similar to each other, but run on separate servers and have different content to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions. The application allows users to create short music and lip-sync videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds. They also have global offices including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo. The app is popular in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the United States, Turkey, Russia, and other parts of the world. TikTok and Douyin’s servers are each based in the market where the respective app is available.After merging with Musical.ly in August, downloads rose and TikTok became the most downloaded app in the US in October 2018, the first Chinese app to achieve this. As of 2018, it was available in over 150 markets and in 75 languages. In February 2019, TikTok, together with Douyin, hit one billion downloads globally, excluding Android installs in China. In 2019, media outlets cited TikTok as the 7th-most-downloaded mobile app of the decade, from 2010 to 2019. It was also the most-downloaded app on the App Store in 2018 and 2019.
Since June 2020, Kevin Mayer is CEO of TikTok and COO of parent company ByteDance. Previously he was chairman of the Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International.
India bans TikTok and dozens more Chinese apps
A dozen (commonly abbreviated doz or dz) is a grouping of twelve.
The dozen may be one of the earliest primitive groupings, perhaps because there are approximately a dozen cycles of the Moon, or months, in a cycle of the Sun, or year. Twelve is convenient because it has the most divisors of any number under 18.
The use of twelve as a base number, known as the duodecimal system (also as dozenal), originated in Mesopotamia (see also sexagesimal). This could come from counting on one’s fingers by counting each finger bone with one’s thumb. Using this method, one hand can count to twelve, and two hands can count to 144. Twelve dozen (122 = 144) are known as a gross; and twelve gross (123 = 1,728, the duodecimal 1,000) are called a great gross, a term most often used when shipping or buying items in bulk. A great hundred, also known as a small gross, is 120 or ten dozen.
A baker’s dozen, also known as a big or long dozen, is 13. Varying by country, some products are packaged or sold by the dozen, often foodstuff (a dozen eggs). Dozen may also be used to express a large quantity as in “several dozen” (e.g., dozens of people came to the party).
In a statement, it said the apps were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
In total, 59 apps were banned – among them popular messaging app WeChat. It follows escalating tensions along the disputed border between the two powers.
India bans TikTok and dozens more Chinese apps
Clashes have left at least 20 Indian troops dead. Satellite images also appear to show that China has built new structures overlooking the Himalayan border region.
India’s Ministry of Information Technology said it was banning the 59 Chinese apps after receiving “many complaints from various sources” about apps that were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner”.
“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the ministry said.
India is TikTok’s biggest foreign market, with an estimated 120 million users.
As it grew in popularity, it has faced accusations of links to the Chinese state, and of sending user data into China. Many of its strongest critics are in the United States, including some US senators who have called for an investigation into the company.
TikTok fiercely rejects such claims.
The list of apps banned by India also includes the microblogging platform Weibo, the strategy game Clash of Kings, Alibaba’s UC Browser, and e-commerce apps Club Factory and Shein.