ByteDance, the Chinese firm that owns Helo and video sharing app TikTok, has announced that it plans to establish a data centre in India that will store Indian users’ data locally. This comes at the heels of growing political rancour against the Chinese firm-owned app TikTok for its alleged data sharing practices. Thus far, the company had stored the data of Indian users in US and Singapore. ByteDance claims that TikTok has 120 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India, while Helo has about 20 million. Tick tock goes the Indian political clock on TikTok On July 17, MeitY’s Cyber Laws and e-Security wing issued a notice to TikTok and Helo, asking them to respond to concerns that they were being used to commit anti-India and unlawful activities. These notices were sent in response to RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch’s letter to the prime minister that called for a ban on the two apps, claiming that TikTok had become a hub for “anti-national content” that was capable of disrupting the “fabric of our society”. The PMO has also reportedly asked MeitY to monitor the functioning of TikTok in the wake of numerous ocmplaints against it within and without the country. In early July, two Lok Sabha MPs — TDP’s Jaydev Galla and BJD’s Pinaki Mishra — called for a ban on TikTok and Helo for allegedly spreading fake news in India, and for collecting user information and data. On July 1, Shashi Tharoor said that there were reports that the…
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