TikTok Blocked By Google and Apple in India

Saul Bowman
April 17, 2019

ByteDance told The Drum: "We welcome the decision of the Madras High Court to appoint Arvind Datar as Amicus Curae (independent counsel) to the court". The matter has been taken to The Supreme Court who refused to stay the order and that proceed with the hearings on 22nd April. Whereas, Google's Play Store instantly blocked the downloads in India after receiving a request from the concerned Ministry.

Update: Google and Apple have pulled TikTok from their mobile application stores in India.

The issue will be heard in the Supreme Court on April 22, but the app could potentially vanish from stores before then.

Chinese video-sharing application TikTok has been removed from the Google Play Store and the iOS app store in India a day after the Indian government asked that access to the popular application, which has over 230 million downloads in India, be banned.

The Madras High Court order asked the federal government to ban TikTok on the grounds that it encouraged pornography and made young users vulnerable to sexual predators.

The app was still available on Apple's platforms late on Tuesday but was no longer available on Google's Play store in India.

Google said it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws, reported Reuters.

India is one of the largest users of the App, and the recent Government move will hit downloads of TikTok hard.

TikTok app has become a craze in India with more than 54 million monthly active users in the country.

The state court has requested written submissions from Bytedance in the case and has scheduled its next hearing for 24 April. The app was globally ranked third amongst the most installed apps during the first quarter of 2019.

Meanwhile, TikTok, in a statement, said: "We are committed to continuously enhancing our existing measures and introducing additional technical and moderation processes as a part of our ongoing commitment to our users in India".

TikTok is problematic because it has been found to host user-generated content that is considered to be inappropriate.

ByteDance, the Chinese company behind the hugely popular app, has appealed the ban arguing TikTok was like any other social media platform and the ban was discriminatory and arbitrary.

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