Hyderabad: Several countries have pointed fingers at China, where the novel Corona virus is said to have originated, for failing to control the virus at its origin. Leaders of the US, the UK, and Germany have alleged that the deaths could have been avoided if China had shared information about COVID-19 during its early phases.
Amidst this, a message in Hindi has been going viral claiming that India should follow the US and ban the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok. In English, it translates to. "America has banned the Chinese company TikTok.
It should also be banned in India. Share this message so that it reaches Prime Minister Narendra Modi."
Similar messaged are also being shared along with the video of US senator Josh Hawley talking about security risks that TikTok poses to American citizens and its alleged links to the Chinese government.
TikTok is a popular video-sharing app owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming.
The claim that TikTok has been banned in the US is false.
In the video, senator Josh Hawley explains the security risks of using TikTok and says that the US federal government has banned federal employees, including the military, the Marine Corps, the US Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Transportation Security Administration, from using the app.
Here is the longer version of the video:
According to a BBC report published on 31 December 2019, the US Army restricted the usage of the app on government-owned cell phones from mid-December. The US Navy followed suit. The report also said the military cannot prevent its use on private phones but the department of Defence recently issued a guideline for employees asking them "to be wary of applications you download".
A similar report was also published by The Verge on 31 December 2019.
TikTok was banned in India in April 2019 after an interim order by the Chennai High Court. This ban was reversed on 25 April 2019. The app, which claims to have 500 million users worldwide, including more than 120 million in India, has been fighting the efforts to shut down TikTok in India after the High Court order. Recently, the demand to ban the controversial app has grown.
However, the app is not banned in the US. Only federal employees have been prohibited from using it.
Hence, the claim that the USA has banned TikTok is false.