Google blocks Chinese app TikTok in India after court order

TikTok app

The Indian government has asked Google and Apple to remove the video streaming mobile app, TikTok, from their respective app stores.

The Madras high court had asked the government to ban Tik Tok as they argued it encourages pornography and makes children vulnerable to sexual predators.

Responding to the Madras High Court order, TikTok said, "We welcome the decision of the Madras High Court to appoint Arvind Datar as Amicus Curiae (independent counsel) to the court". It is expected the matter will be heard by the Madras High Court on April 22.

The bench said the high court is already seized of the matter and the ban order was just an interim order.

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YourStory reached out to TikTok about MeitY's directive to Google and Apple, and the company refused to comment on the matter. This has happened after central government had instructed Google and Apple to follow court orders, and Google has promptly removed Tik Tok from Indian play store. The video-sharing app faced a massive backlash due to issues like inability to quality control, abusive and pornographic content are among significant reasons.

With over 54 million users every month, TikTok allows its users to create and share videos.

"This marked a year-over-year increase of 70 percent from Q1 2018, when 110 million users installed the hit app for the first time", Sensor Tower stated.

Jokes, clips and footage related to India's thriving movie industry dominate the TikTok platform, along with memes and videos in which youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-sync and dance to popular music.

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The app has reportedly been downloaded more than 240 million times in India alone, and in a statement, TikTok India says it has more than 120 million monthly active users.

Salman Waris, a technology lawyer at TechLegis Advocates & Solicitors, said the legal action against Bytedance could set a precedent of Indian courts intervening to regulate content on social media and other digital platforms.

During the hearing on Tuesday, TikTok submitted before the Court that it has technology in place to filter inappropriate content, reports Bar and Bench.

The company employed around 250 people in India for app development and keeping a tap on the content.

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