The move mirrored growing unease about Chinese tech firms in other countries, in particular regarding telecom giant Huawei.
TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, allows users to upload and share short videos and is spectacularly popular in India — its 120 million users have made it the app’s top international market.
On Tuesday, the head of TikTok India issued a statement saying the firm has “not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese government”.
“Further if we are requested to in the future we would not do so,” Nikhil Gandhi said, adding that “hundreds of millions of users, artists, story-tellers, educators and performers… (depend) on it for their livelihood.”
It remains unclear how the bans would work. But even Indians who already had downloaded TikTok on their phones were not able to use the app from late Tuesday.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular press briefing that China is “strongly concerned” about the announcement and looking into the situation.
He said the country has always asked Chinese firms to abide by international rules and local laws as they work with foreign parties, adding that China-India cooperation is mutually beneficial and damaging this is not in India’s interest.