The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the economic wing of the Indian party Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has called for video sharing site TikTok to be banned in India.
Calls for the Bytedance-owned platform and social network Helo to be banned has been ongoing in India, starting earlier this year when the government first called for bans because it believed it encouraged online predators. Not long after that, it tried to lean on Apple and Google to enforce a ban on the app.
The SJM is also claiming that a ban would help protect young people and India’s national security, but it is also arguing that it would damage India’s start-up community, according to the Economic Times.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the SJM said: “To prevent such applications from operating in India, we would humbly request the creation of a new law that requires testing and also regulation to protect our national security as well as the privacy of Indian users from countries with inimical interests to India. Until such a law is notified, all such Chinese applications, including TikTok and Helo should be banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs.”
“In recent weeks, TikTok has become a hub for anti-national content that is being shared extensively on the application. We have been notified of videos advocating views that promote religious violence, anti-Harijan sentiments, and mistreatment of women. There have also been various instances of deaths being caused due to TikTok across India,” said the letter.
In terms of the start-up ecosystem, the claim is that because the Chinese platforms are cash-rich, it makes it more difficult for home-grown services to flourish.
Other Indian politicians have previously accused TikTok of sharing personal data of Indians with China and spreading fake news in the country.