TikTok Removed From App Store, Play Store in India After Court Order

Google Blocks Chinese App TikTok in India After Court Order

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Chinese company ByteDance, said there were over billion downloads of the mobile app and an ex-parte orders were passed by the Madurai bench of Madras High Court.

Bytedance challenged the court's ban order in India's Supreme Court last week, saying it went against freedom of speech rights in India.

The high court's interim order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) which alleged that the app encouraged paedophiles and the content "degraded culture and encouraged pornography". Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

After the Supreme Court refused to stay Madras High Court's order imposing a ban on TikTok app, the central government has reportedly asked Google and Apple to drop the Chinese video-sharing application from their app stores.

The order was issued by India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and follows an order by the Madras High Court prohibiting the downloading of the app in India.

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Now, the app has been taken down from the Google Play Store, while iOS users can still download the popular app from the Apple App Store.

While Apple and Google are yet to comment on the directive, TikTok said in a statement: "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". It claims to have 500 million users worldwide including more than 120 million in India.

Jokes, clips and footage related to India's thriving movie industry dominate the app's platform, along with memes and videos in which youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-sync and dance to popular music. With the app no longer available to download in India, the TikTok ban comes into effect, representing a setback for developer Bytedance Technology's efforts to tap users in a key market. This was a 12 time increase since January of the same year. The app is hugely popular among all age group in India and has been criticised by several leaders. Further, the SC ordered that the case will be heard again on April 22, to account for the latest Madras High Court order from April 16.

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

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