Google & Apple blocks TikTok app in India

Google & Apple blocks TikTok app in India

Day after the Supreme Court refused to stay the Madras High Court's TikTok ban order issued on 3 April, the government has asked tech giants Google and Apple to comply with the directive prohibiting downloading the TikTok app. Users can download the popular mobile app TikTok only through Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Today, responding to the Madras HC order, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has ordered Google and Apple to immediately remove the TikTok app from their respective app stores. With the app no longer available to download in India, the TikTok ban comes into effect, representing a setback for developer Bytedance Technology's efforts to tap users in a key market. A Tamil Nadu court asked the government to ban TikTok due to inappropriate content.

The court appointed senior advocate Arvind Datar as an independent counsel in the case to examine the implications of the app. Later, the matter was brought to the Indian Supreme Court where the Tiktok owners argued for a stay on the ban and asserted that it can not be held liable for actions of third parties on the platform.

TikTok said in a statement that the company has faith in the Indian judicial system.

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The ban order came after the court noted that children were being exposed to pornographic and inappropriate material. At this point, it's unclear if Apple will block TikTok downloads or what the company will have to do to get back in India's good graces.

TikTok is a social media platform primarily built around user-generated lip-synced videos played to licensed tunes, and shared by users. On its part, TikTok has said that it's not liable to be punished for what "third parties" do.

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. India accounts for more than 39% of TikTok's 500 million global users. However, the Chinese company said that it had removed over 6 million videos that violated its guidelines. And while new iOS users might be left in the lurch, Android users will simply be able to download the app from unauthorised sources, which would, among other things, only serve to exacerbate the problems of hacking and phishing and other cybersecurity issues.

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