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After senior lawyers refuse to defend TikTok in SC, the company says they have no plan to pursue legal action against Indian govt

Yesterday, Congress leader and senior lawyer, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and the former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that they would not represent the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok in Supreme Court.

The Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, which was recently banned by the government of India, has issued a statement in which it has refuted the media claims that it is challenging the decision of govt of India to ban it in the country. In the statement, the spokesperson of TikTok clarified that it does not ‘plan to’ take any action against the Government of India. 

Issuing a statement on Thursday, TikTok said: “There have been statements in the press concerning the possibility that TikTok might pursue legal action regarding the directive by the Government of India. We have no plans to pursue such action. We are committed to working with the government to address its concerns”.

The Chinese app said that it complies with the laws and regulations of the government of India, and said that the data sovereignty, security and privacy of users has always been and will continue to be a top priority for them.

The statement by TikTok came after senior lawyers had told media that they will not represent the company in Supreme Court against the central govt’s decision to ban them, suggesting that the company was preparing to fight a legal battle against the govt of India.

Senior lawyers commented of not representing TikTok in SC

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Yesterday, Congress leader and senior lawyer, Abhishek Manu Singhvi had said that he would not represent the Chinese video-sharing app in Supreme Court. The Congress leader’s decision came after former Attorney General of India and senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi expressed unwillingness to be a lawyer for TikTok. Earlier in the day, Mukul Rohatgi had clarified that he doesn’t want to represent a Chinese company against the Government of India.

These comments from the lawyers suggested that TikTok, owned by Chinese internet firm Bytedance, is challenging the decision of govt of India to ban it in the country, along with 58 other apps from China, and the company was approaching senior lawyers for the same. Abhishek Manu Singhvi had defended the app last year against the Madras High Court’s interim order to ban it.

TikTok is the most popular app on the ban list, which is known for its user-generated lip-syncing, talent and comedy short videos. In recent times the app also faced controversy after a large number of videos were uploaded on TikTok by Muslims mocking and downplaying the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Chinese video sharing app banned in India

The government of India had announced a ban on 59 Chinese apps that were listed on the Google Play Store and the Apple iOS App Store in India over concerns that these apps were engaging in activities that threatened national security, defence of India, sovereignty and integrity of India.

TikTok India released statement, claims does not share data with Chinese govt

Following the ban, TikTok’s India office had released a statement, in which Nikhil Gandhi, head of TikTok in India claimed that TikTok continues to comply with data privacy and security requirements and has not shared information of users to any foreign government including the Chinese government. 

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