While, recently, the Indian government has issued notices to TikTok and Helo, along with 24 questions regarding the alleged misuse of their platforms for anti-national activities in the country.
The Centre has warned these apps that they might face a ban if they do not submit appropriate responses by July 22, according to sources.
“As a testimony to ByteDance’s recognition of India’s efforts to frame a new data protection legislation, we are pleased to announce that we are taking a significant step towards establishing a data centre in India. We are now in the process of examining options for safe, secure and reliable services for our Indian users within India’s borders,” ByteDance said.
It added that since the launch of its platforms in India, the company has stored the data of its Indian users at third-party data centres in the US and Singapore.
Founded in 2012, ByteDance entered India in September 2017 through its live-streaming app Vigo Video.
“India is one of our strongest markets and we are happy to be part of the mainframe of Digital India in 15 Indian languages. We now believe that the time has come to take the next big leap. In line with this effort, we are looking forward to having a more active dialogue with relevant stakeholders and setting new benchmarks along the way,” the company said.
The Indian government is also crafting a personal data protection bill that moots seeking “explicit consent” for processing ‘sensitive personal information’ like religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation and biometric details, defines obligations of data processors as also rights of individuals, and proposed penalties for violation.
On the other side, TikTok, which allows people to create short videos and share them has over 200 million users in the country, had its share of troubles in the Indian market.
In April, the Madras High Court had directed the Centre to ban TikTok app, saying it was evident from media reports that pornography and inappropriate content were made available through such mobile apps.
The order was later lifted and the app was back on app stores.
Earlier this month, RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch had also written to the Prime Minister alleging that these platforms are being used for anti-national and illegal activities.
TikTok, on its part, had termed the allegations as “untrue” and said it abides by local laws and regulations in the markets where it operates. It had said the Chinese government has no access to TikTok users’ data.