TikTok's parent company ByteDance is in the process of setting up a data centre in India after allegations have surfaced against the technology company on sharing user data with Beijing.
Congress' Shashi Tharoor, BJD's Pinaki Misra and TDP’s Jayadev Galla have accused short-video app TikTok of illegally collecting and sharing data with China, violating user privacy, spreading misinformation and anti-national messages, Economic Times reported. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological engine of the ruling party, has called for a moratorium on TikTok until India has a robust data protection policy in place.
"Since the launch of our platforms in India, we have stored the data of our Indian users at industry-leading third-party data centres in the US and Singapore. This is in line with our constant endeavour to ensure that we have the best interests of our local users at heart. We are now in the process of examining options for safe, secure and reliable services for our Indian users within India's borders,” the Bytedance statement said.
In India, ByteDance operates three products — TikTok, Helo and Vigo Video. While TikTok has 120 million monthly active users in India, Helo has about 50 million.
"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," the statement further added.
Last week, RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch, wrote to the Prime Minister alleging ByteDance platforms are used for anti-national and illegal activities. The Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) has sent a set of 24 questions to ByteDance seeking a response on the allegations. The Chinese conglomerate has to reply before July 22.
India is one of the strongest markets for TikTok and Helo.
"In line with our commitment to India, we are investing USD 1 billion dollars in India over the next three years, with a strategic focus on developing technology infrastructure, establishing local partnerships and supporting initiatives such as the Skill India Program which we are proud to be assisting with already," the statement said.