Google, Apple block TikTok download in India

Google Blocks Chinese App TikTok in India After Court Order

The government has asked tech giants Google and Apple to comply with the Madras High Court's order that had banned popular mobile app TikTok, according to sources. The statement was made in light of the recent development after Madras High Court passed a directive, asking the government to put a ban on the app's download in the country.

Chinese startup Bytedance urged India's Supreme Court last week to quash the ban order, saying it would go against freedom of speech rights in India.

The matter was initially raised in the Madras High Court which banned the app via an interim order without providing an opportunity to TikTok for defending itself.

Reuters reported earlier on TikTok's removal from Google's app store in India.

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The app has had quite a few run-ins with the law. The court then banned the application citing that it encourges pornography and illict content.

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.

Having said that, the app is still accessible to the ones who have it downloaded on their phones. It also restricted media companies from telecasting any videos that are made using the application.

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.

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Responding to the Madras High Court order, TikTok said, "We welcome the decision of the Madras High Court to appoint Arvind Datar as Amicus Curiae (independent counsel) to the court". We are committed to continuously enhancing our existing measures and introducing additional technical and moderation processes as part of our ongoing commitment to our users in India. And should this step be taken by Pakistani higher authorities too?

The app, which lets users create short, fun videos, has come under fire for allegedly allowing "pornographic" and "sleazy" content to propagate, especially among its younger audience.

The company had faith in the judicial system and was "optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by" its millions of users in India, he added.

They also expressed that they're not responsible for third-party content on their platform and the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 gives TikTok conditional legal safeguards in that regard.

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