India and the US topped a list of countries which submitted the most requests for user information and content removal in the first half of 2019, video-sharing social network service TikTok revealed in its first transparency report.
The former made 107 requests for user information, with some data provided for 47 per cent of cases. The US came in second with 79 requests (information produced for 86 per cent), while Japan rounded out the top three with 35 requests (information produced for 21 per cent).
India also had the highest tally of government requests for content removal, with 11, compared to six from the US and three from Japan.
China was absent from both lists, despite concerns from US politicians the app might be subject to censorship and user data requests from the Chinese government. TikTok is headquartered in the US and its service is not available to users in China, but its parent ByteDance is based in the country.
TikTok noted governments typically request account information to assist in criminal investigations and in emergency situations where harm may be imminent. It added takedown requests centre on content deemed to be in violation of local laws.
Eric Ebenstein, TikTok’s head of public policy, insisted in a blog post the app responds “only to legally valid requests and only with the requisite amount of information needed”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back