TikTok: Apple and Google Block the Video-Sharing App Download in India; Remove the App from their Online Store
The ban was implemented over concerns that the Chinese short-video sharing app was being used to spread pornography
Apple and Google have blocked the download of the app from App Store and Play Store respectively in India. Following the request by the Madras High Court, India’s Information Technology ministry sent a request to the American companies, Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their online stores that has been more than 120 million users in the country.
The ban was implemented over concerns that the Chinese short-video sharing app was being used to spread pornography. The app has been downloaded over 230 million times in the country, however, has faced crictism from some of its users for sharing inappropriate content.
The app is widely popular amoungst teenagers, which allows children to post short video of themselves lip-syncing and dancing to their favourite songs. TikTok also allows people to share a short video of themselves performing short comedy skits or completing challenges.
The app is already banned in Bangaldesh and has been fined in the US on thr grounds of illegaly collecting information on children.
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court refused an appeal by its owner, Chinese company ByteDanc, to lift the ban.
The Supreme court on Monday refused to interfere, for now, however the Madra High court asked the federal government to remove the Chinese app on the grounds that it encourages pornography and makes young users or teenagers vulnerable to sexual predators. The case will have further hearing on April 22.
"As a policy, we don't comment on individual apps but adhere to the law in countries we operate in”, a Google spokesperson told IANS.
In the case filing, ByteDance arguned that a “very minuscule” proportion of the app content was considered inappropriate.
Additionally, TikTok said in a statement that the company is optimistic and has faith in the Indian judicial system.
"We are optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by over 120 million monthly active users in India, who continue using TikTok to showcase their creativity and capture moments that matter in their everyday lives," a spokesperson of TikTok said.
TikTok further added that it had been increasing efforts to take down “inappropriate content” and had so far removed more than 6 million videos in India.
Apple has yet to commnet on the ban.