Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Google, Apple asked to comply with Madras HC’s TikTok ban order

Indian government wants Apple to boot TikTok out of the App Store Indian Government bans Tik Tok, asks Apple and Google to remove the app from their respective stores
Jeannette Daniel | 17 April, 2019, 11:59

The Indian government has ordered Google and Apple to take down the Chinese-owned Tiktok video app after a court expressed concerns over the spread of pornographic material.

A Bytedance spokeswoman declined to comment on the app store decisions, but provided a statement on the India situation: "The case is still ongoing to date", the company said.

However, users can go for alternative ways to download the app, but that can be illegal, and the downloaded code can be infected with viruses as well.

TikTok even removed 6 million videos from its service last week to address the problem of inappropriate content on the app. 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. Those users will not be impacted by the removal of the app from the Google Play store.

The decision by the bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, came on an appeal by Chinese company ByteDance, which developed the app, contending that the High Court order was ex-parte. TikTok Ban in India Will Hurt Free Speech; Says China's Bytedance Technology. More than 30 million users in India installed it in January 2019, 12 times more than in the same month previous year.

More news: Michigan trims count of measles cases; vaccines still urged

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

With over 9 million downloads on the Google Play Store, TikTok is a very popular video making app around the world.

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.

TikTok argues in the petition before the Supreme Court that if the ban imposed by the High Court is not lifted, it would cause irreparable loss to the petitioner and would give a significant advantage to the petitioner's competitors. Having said that, the company had recently announced that it had removed videos which were in violation of their guidelines. The Supreme Court has listed the matter again for April 22, 2019, to be apprised of the outcome of the hearing on the April 16th, 2019 before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court.

It did not comment on MeitY's direction to Apple and Google. 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.

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