TikTok ban in India: Google blocks Chinese app after Madras HC order

Lamar Ellis
April 17, 2019

A Tamil Nadu court asked the government to ban TikTok due to inappropriate content.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had asked Google and Apple to block the app following the Supreme Court's refusal to stay the original Madras HC court order on April 3.

TikTok was the third most installed app globally during Q1across the App Store and Google Play, the same rank it held during the previous quarter, according to Sensor Tower, a market analysis firm.

The app has had quite a few run-ins with the law.

A spokesman for TikTok in India declined to comment on the app's removal resulting from the TikTok ban in India, saying the matter was still in the courts.

TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, has become hugely popular in India but has been criticised by some politicians who say its content is inappropriate. Apple did not respond to Gadgets 360's request for comment, though the TikTok app was not available to download via the App Store.

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Having said that, the app is still accessible to the ones who have it downloaded on their phones. It also restricted media companies from telecasting the videos made using the application. However, the Bench declined to stay the ban and adjourned the matter to April 24. We are committed to continuously enhancing our existing measures and introducing additional technical and moderation processes as part of our ongoing commitment to our users in India. "Strict action needs to be taken against people publishing such content instead of asking for a blanket ban on apps". "To date, we have removed over 6 million videos that violated our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines, following an exhaustive review of content generated by our users in India".

The court appointed senior advocate Arvind Datar as an independent counsel in the case to examine the implications of the app.

If the ban comes through, TikTok stands to lose as many as 119 million users in India.

However, users can go for alternative ways to download the app, but that can be illegal, and the downloaded code can be infected with viruses as well.

TikTok earlier said in a statement that it had faith in the Indian judicial system and was "optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by millions" of its users.

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