Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

TikTok app blocked in India by Google after Madras High Court order

TikTok app blocked in India by Google after Madras High Court order

Google has blocked access to popular Chinese video making application TikTok in India.

This is indeed a big blow for TikTok, because India is the country where they are witnessing highest growth, and a ban from Google and Apple app stores will halt their growth.

However, the app wasn't available on Google's Play store in India late on Tuesday.

TikTok was banned in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu for "encouraging porn" last week by the Madras High Court. In addition to ordering Google and Apple to make the app unavailable for downloading, the court also ordered media houses to stop telecasting videos made using the TikTok app.

Nonetheless, as noted, TikTok has confirmed that it has removed more than 6 million videos, following a review of content generated by users in India. The court ruling restricts future downloads of the app in India, not existing users, said one of the people familiar with the decision, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.

The Madras High Court's ex-parte order was challenged in the Supreme Court by Chinese company ByteDance.

Madras High Court had banned TikTok, as it found that the app polluted the minds of the youngsters, and is harmful to the society. And, the three-person Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will hear the case on April 22 after observing the proceedings tomorrow.

Google in its statement said, "it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws". It had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India, app analytics firm Sensor Tower said in February.

In its petition to the Supreme Court last week, ByteDance said it can not be held liable for actions of third parties on the platform.

In its Supreme Court filing, Bytedance argued that a "very minuscule" proportion of TikTok content was considered inappropriate or obscene.

The state court has requested written submissions from Bytedance in the case and has scheduled its next hearing for April 24. Having said that, the company had recently announced that it had removed videos which were in violation of their guidelines.

The new directive issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) means that users who don't already have the app, won't be able to download it once the order goes into effect.

TikTok said in a statement that it had faith in the Indian judicial system and was "optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by millions" of its users.

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