As the world celebrates Social Media Day, the decision to ban apps like TikTok from India a day before seems to be quite ironic for its 119 million Indian users cum influencers who used the social media platform for many purposes from entertainment to teaching. In Kashmir, the response largely remained the wittiest.
By Swati Joshi
FOR a long time now, teacher Shafat Kirmani was hoping to see the content-creating app like Tik Tok to fade away from social media. Behind the wish was his belief that such platforms make youth delusional and take them away from the real life goals and purposes. Even as many wouldn’t agree with the young teacher’s viewpoint, his tribe, of late, was only growing.
In mainland India, the scathing media-driven campaign against Chinese Apps had taken roots on the heels of the ongoing Sino-India standoff at Ladakh.
As the “economic strike” cry resonated, policymakers in New Delhi seriously mulled to enforce the ban on Beijing’s digital platforms having millions of followers in India.
Yesterday govt banned 59chinese apps same day govt have invited head of apps to meet with concerned govt stake holders to submit clarification. Seems temporary surgical strike on Chinese app. #Chineseapps #TikTok
— Guftar Ahmed (گفتار احمد) (@GuftarAhmedCh) June 30, 2020
Finally on June 29, the Ministry of Information and Technology under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology Rules 2009 decided to block 59 apps, including Tik Tok.
Ahh lol so this app ban is just an interim order & app companies have been invited by the govt to submit clarifications.
Basically, this “ban” is merely to fool Indians & temporarily create an impression that Modi has “done something”.
Modi govt will pull a Savarkar very soon. https://t.co/GpeF092jOg
— Ambreena Syed (@Ambreen62986028) June 30, 2020
The Ministry justified the ban since “these apps are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order”.
Assume #PMofacountry banning the #tiktok(an app just for entertainment) because the #appformers live in country who’ve killed it’s army!
Then will call it a #Befittingreply!#Believeme, these can’t be the oppressors.We are going wrong not somewhere but everywhere!#tiktokban🤣
— اَظہر. (@PieAju) June 30, 2020
The banned apps will be given a chance to respond to the government on the charges imposed on them.
Indians: Lets boycott China,banned 59 apps
Le Kashmiris: pic.twitter.com/ga6qwlYRDS
— Tasruff Daar (@ActiveAnxiety) June 30, 2020
According to the responses, the government will decide whether to remove the ban or continue it.
If only #PUBG had been a Chinese app a lot of youngsters in India would have found more time on their hands for studies & nation building.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) June 29, 2020
While Omar Abdullah wished PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG) to be a Chinese app, many youngsters were relieved when the app was not on the government’s list.
PubG to other chinese apps : pic.twitter.com/k4o5blKK64
— suhaib Dar (@iamsuhaibdar) June 30, 2020
PUBG is a battle-royale video game in which 100 players are air dropped in an area which keeps on shrinking with time and the players have to fight for their survival. Though it was developed in China, Tencent, a video game company, has licensed PUBG.
The only place Indians are giving the Chinese a tough fight is on pubg by pulling grenades on their fellow Chinese teammates.
— Basit (@basitxameer) June 30, 2020
But many people welcomed the government’s move as “it will hit China where it hurts the most”.
Strongly back the idea of banning these #59Chinese apps. Most were stealing data of Indian citizens. In any case China doesn’t allow international companies to run their apps in mainland China. Economic cooperation cannot be a one way street. Hit China where it hurts most. pic.twitter.com/WikfRlo5zY
— Haroon Akram (@listenharoon) June 29, 2020
Amid the barrage of reactions, social media was dominated by what some netizens called “digital strike” on China.
China grabbing land,
Modi banning app.
China killing Army,
Modi blaming Gandhi!
— Jan nisar Jan (@JannisarJan2) June 30, 2020
Many Kashmiris for the day were at their wittiest best while deconstructing the government decision to ban the Chinese Apps.
China attacks map… India attacks app
— Sohail Shafi (@meer_sohail11) June 30, 2020
The move by the government comes amidst the protest by people over the clash between the Indian and Chinese forces in the Galwan valley in Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.
India banning Chinese apps is nothing but just another to way to cut down regular income of its 100’s and 1000’s of self employed youth especially the Tiktok ones.#IndiaChinaFaceOff #TikTok #tiktokbanindia #LadakhBorder #Kashmir #COVID19
— Umer Farooq (@UmerFarooq1159) June 30, 2020
However, many Twitterati feel that the decision by the government to ban Chinese app in comparison to China’s attack on the Galwan Valley is worthless.
china to india: pic.twitter.com/n84DRqaUIc
— Yamin Mushtaq (@ym___n_5_) June 30, 2020
Though 59 apps are banned by the Indian government yet most of the posts on social media posts are about TikTok.
— TikTok India (@TikTok_IN) June 30, 2020
Many influencers who were earning from TikTok by working with brands will face a backslash by the government’s move.
Similarly Chinese investments are on Ola, Paytm, Zomato and many other companies to an extent of 40-45%… Can’t ban or stop those if only for security issues…
— The Bharat Martini (@BharatMartini) June 29, 2020
Nikhil Gandhi, TikTok India Head posted an update on twitter and stressed that Tiktok always comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and it has not shared any information with any foreign government.
Why not Paytm, Alibaba😝 pic.twitter.com/uGqMGq0ed4
— Shah Suhail (@SuhailShah35) June 30, 2020
Many people blamed the government for partial behavior since it has not banned many companies like Paytm and BigBasket which receive huge investments from China.
🤔 I wonder why @Paytm is not in the list of 59 #Chinese companies #baned by #GOI as @SAIFPartners holds 18.56%@AlibabaGroup 7.18% #ANTfinancial holds 29.71% shares of #Paytm#BoycottChineseProducts#BycottChineseApp
— IDENTITY – FINDER (@wasim8393) June 29, 2020
Ant financial is one of the biggest investors of Paytm, the fintech company of Alibaba. Its parent company has raised $1 million from new and existing investors and some of them were Chinese.
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