Government directs Apple and Google to delete the TikTok App

Government directs Apple and Google to delete the TikTok App

The Madras High Court recently denied the stay order on popular mobile application TikTok, and the government on Tuesday asked Google and Apple to comply with the court order and to block access to the application.

TikTok, the popular Chinese app that runs on user-generated content, is positive about the appointment of Arvind Datar as amicus curiae (independent counsel) to the court in the case involving its ban in India, the company said on Tuesday.

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

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. Apple and Google did not respond to requests for comment.

The bench hearing the case said: "It is evident from media reports that pornography and inappropriate contents are made available in this kind of cyber applications".

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TikTok even removed 6 million videos from its service last week to address the problem of inappropriate content on the app. 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. After Google, pressure is mounting on Apple to take down the app from the App Store.

ByteDance (India) Technology Private Limited, which owns the mobile application, had filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court last week against the lower court's April 3 order.

The rise of Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok in India has been so spectacular over the past year that it is now almost impossible for any social media user to not have come across its content. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said that it is keeping the issue open for further adjudication and would consider it on April 22. The case is up for hearing in the Madras High Court, after which the SC will decide on its fate on 22nd April. The app has reportedly been downloaded more than 240 million times in India alone, and in a statement, TikTok India says it has more than 120 million monthly active users.

The order passed by the High Court is based on various unsubstantiated and factually incorrect or gross exaggerations made by the PIL litigant, the petitioner company states.

Reacting to the top court's refusal to stay the high court's order, TikTok said: "We have faith in the Indian Judicial system and the stipulations afforded to social media platforms by the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011.We have been stepping up efforts to take down objectionable content".

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