After India and the US, Japan could consider TikTok ban.
The Japanese lawmakers have eye on TikTok regarding concerns around user data and privacy issues.
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Short video making app TikTok has become the most controversial applications of all time. Adding to its unending spree of controversies, now, a group of Japan lawmakers have their eyes on TikTok and other apps developed by Chinese firms. The steps are taken soon after Indian government blocked some Chinese apps, and the U.S. is considering doing the same. While India has already banned 59 Chinese apps and 47 of their clones, the government is reportedly considering a list of 275 more apps that it may ban in future.
A Japanese national broadcaster NHK first reported the decision. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party said they would be pushing the country's government to "take legislative steps" to "limit the use" of TikTok and other apps that originate from China. While the country considering the resolution is new, the core concern is the same between India, US and Japan, which is the risk of user privacy and sensitive data ending up in China, posing as a national threat to the respective nations.
Although Bytedance's TikTok had it's largest user base in India, Japan was the first overseas market where the app rose to fame and went viral. TikTok is said to be consistently topping the entertainment app section of Apple's App Store and is also the fifth-most downloaded apps across all categories as per App Annie.
The U.S., on the other hand, has also shared thoughts on banning TikTok soon. A Senate panel had disallowed government officials from using the app last week, and both President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said earlier that the government is considering a ban on TikTok.
In response to the inquiry arising from Japan, a TikTok spokesperson reiterated the app is distant from Chinese control, in a statement to TechCrunch. He said, "there's a lot of misinformation about TikTok out there. TikTok has an American CEO, a Chief Information Security Officer with decades of industry, U.S. military and law enforcement experience, and a U.S. team that works diligently to develop a best-in-class security infrastructure. Four of our parent company's five board seats are controlled by some of the world's best-respected global investors. TikTok U.S./ user data is stored in the U.S. and Singapore, with strict controls on employee access."
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