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

Tiktok: India bans video sharing app

Google blocks Chinese app TikTok in India after court order

Google and Apple have blocked access to the video app, TikTok, after the Madras High Court directed the Centre to ban the application's download over concerns regarding pornographic content.

Apple and Google have removed TikTok, which allows users to create and share videos, from their app stores in India.

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.

An interim order from the Madras High Court directing the govt to ban TikTok in India has come into effect.

The bench hearing the case said: "It is evident from media reports that pornography and inappropriate contents are made available in this kind of cyber applications".

And the moves in India to ban Tiktok are the latest in a string of woes for the popular app. Earlier this year, the US Federal Trade Commission fined the company $5.7 million over child privacy violations.

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.

The Madras High Court's ex-parte order was challenged in the Supreme Court by Chinese company ByteDance.

TikTok users in India who had previously downloaded the app on their phones were still able to use the service on Wednesday.

The order passed by the High Court is based on various unsubstantiated and factually incorrect or gross exaggerations made by the PIL litigant, the petitioner company states.

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

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". The next hearing on April 24th.

In its court filing, ByteDance argued that a "very minuscule" proportion of TikTok content was considered inappropriate or obscene.

Reacting to the top court's refusal to stay the high court's order, TikTok said: "We have faith in the Indian Judicial system and the stipulations afforded to social media platforms by the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011.We have been stepping up efforts to take down objectionable content".

"The said ban, if not lifted immediately, shall cause severe prejudice and irreparable harm to the Petitioner Company and result in competitors gaining a significant and potentially irreversible advantage over the petitioner company".

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