Image for Representation.

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The Ministry of Electronics and Info Know-how has reportedly given the businesses three weeks to reply to the questionnaire.

Reuters
Final Up to date: July 15, 2020, 12:04 PM IST

Chinese language corporations similar to TikTok-owner ByteDance have been requested by India to reply 77 questions on their apps which have been banned by New Delhi, together with whether or not they censored content material, labored on behalf of overseas governments or lobbied influencers. India’s Info Know-how Ministry has given the businesses three weeks to reply to the questionnaire, which has been seen by Reuters, and stated unspecified follow-up motion could be taken, two sources stated.

India final month banned the apps following a border conflict between troopers from the 2 nations, which left 20 Indian troopers useless. India has stated the apps pose a risk to its “sovereignty and integrity”. China has criticised the ban. The 59 banned apps, which embody TikTok and Alibaba’s UC Browser, have been requested whether or not they acted on the behest of any overseas authorities to edit, promote, or demote any content material.

One theme of the questionnaire is whether or not the content material was censored after an assault final 12 months carried out by a Pakistan-based terrorist group in Pulwama district in Kashmir. The assault killed a minimum of 40 Indian cops and heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. “Within the aftermath of the Pulwama Assault of 2019, did the corporate/app censor content material referring to the assault or its perpetrators?” the query reads.

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TikTok stated it was working to reply to the ministry’s queries and that it complied with all Indian legal guidelines, including that customers’ information safety and privateness have been its prime priorities. The app ban has jolted the ambitions of ByteDance in India, the place its TikTok video app was massively fashionable.

A supply conversant in the federal government’s considering stated the queries have been according to federal procedures and the identical questions have been despatched to all affected corporations. One query seeks to analyze if firm executives in India communicated with movie stars, social media influencers or journalists to advertise any content material, even when the communication was not for business functions. Different queries have been round advertisers, enterprise constructions, taxation practices and privateness insurance policies, the doc confirmed. The federal government additionally requested the app corporations whether or not they had confronted any investigation in america, European Union or elsewhere for surreptitiously harvesting person information.