Lawmakers in Japan are now considering banning “Chinese-made” apps citing concerns that user data could end up in the hands of the Chinese government. According to Japanese national broadcaster, NHK, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said they will be urging the country’s government to “take legislative steps” to “limit the use” of TikTok and other apps from Chinese firms.
Proposals for a possible ban are expected by September this year and the party wants measures to be taken to prevent personal information from being leaked in ways the government doesn’t expect.
The move makes Japan the third country, after India and the US to crack down on Chinese apps. While India has already banned 59 Chinese apps and 47 of their clones, the government is reportedly considering a list of 275 more apps that it may ban in future. Earlier reports said that the issue is under consideration at the home ministry right now.
The US, on the other hand, has said that it could ban TikTok soon. A Senate panel had disallowed government officials from using the app last week, and both President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said earlier that a ban on TikTok is being considered by the government.
Bans on Chinese apps like TikTok have benefitted companies like Facebook, which rushed to launch its TikTok clone—Instagram Reels—in India this month. The company is also expected to announce the feature in the US in August, and influencers in both countries have been rushing to build their following on other platforms.
Indian platforms like Roposo have benefitted from the bans, but market data suggests that the majority of the benefit may have gone to global firms. Experts in the industry have said that Indian apps aren’t mature enough in terms of their backends and monetization aspects, which makes global platforms like YouTube and Instagram more favourable for influencers and users.