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

Clay Curtis
April 17, 2019

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.

TikTok, the popular Chinese app, is no longer available to download via app stores in India, a couple of weeks after a state court asked the government to implement TikTok ban 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.

The matter was initially raised in the Madras High Court which banned the app via an interim order without providing an opportunity to TikTok for defending itself. Emails sent to Google, Apple and MeitY did not elicit comments until press time.

The app is already banned in Bangladesh and has been fined in the U.S. for illegally collecting information on children. Reuters reported that Google had complied with the order.

Madras High Court had banned TikTok, as it found that the app polluted the minds of the youngsters, and is harmful to the society.

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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 Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna has listed the case for April 22, on which date the Court will be apprised of the developments that take place at the Madras High Court. Google said in a statement it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws. TikTok Ban in India Will Hurt Free Speech; Says China's Bytedance Technology.

TikTok is problematic because it has been found to host user-generated content that is considered to be inappropriate. TikTok had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India.

TikTok also argues that its platform is merely an intermediary under the Information Technology Act and can not be held liable for the actions of third party users on the platform.

With over 54 million users every month, TikTok allows its users to create and share videos and these may have inappropriate content.

The company employs more than 250 people in India and had plans for more investment as it expands the business, it said. The case is up for hearing in the Madras High Court, after which the SC will decide on its fate on 22nd April.

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