Google blocks TikTok downloads in India over pornography concerns

Govt acts against Tik Tok after SC refuses stay on ban

TikTok, the popular video app, has been removed from the Google Play Store in India after the Madras High Court refused to suspend the ban levied on the app.

A Google spokesperson told IANS: "As a policy, we don't comment on individual apps but adhere to the law in countries we operate in".

The move comes after the High Court determined TikTok was encouraging pornography and illicit content.

The app is already banned in Bangladesh and has been fined in the United States for illegally collecting information on children.

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

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 Ban in India Will Hurt Free Speech; Says China's Bytedance Technology. "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 TikTok spokesperson said. More than 30 million users installed the app in January 2019, 12 times more than in the same month previous year.

"The Petitioner in the impugned order herein has invoked the Writ jurisdiction of the Hon'ble Madras High Court under Artcile 226 of the Constitution of India, as a "Public Interest Litigation".

Now, the app has been taken down from the Google Play Store, while iOS users can still download the popular app from the Apple App Store.

Besides, the ruling in India can pave the path for TikTok's ban and restricted usage anywhere, as the verdict can be used by those who find TikTok as offensive and harmful for young kids.

ByteDance counsel had argued that it can not be held liable for actions of third parties on the platform.

The Madras High Court is scheduled to hear the case on Tuesday, April 16 on the issue of ad-interim orders and pass orders or directions accordingly. Apple did not respond to Gadgets 360's request for comment, though the TikTok app was not available to download via the App Store.

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

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Chinese company ByteDance, said there were over billion downloads of the mobile app and ex-parte orders were passed by the Madurai bench of Madras High Court.

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