TikTok App Taken Off Google Play Store and Apple App Store

TikTok live video-streaming app was removed from mobile app stores after the Madras HC refused to lift the ban.

Updated17 Apr 2019, 05:24 AM IST
Tech News
3 min read

After the government asked tech giants Google and Apple to comply with the Madras High Court’s order that had banned popular mobile app TikTok, the app has been taken down from both Google and Apple’s app stores.

Sources told PTI on Tuesday, 16 April, that instructions in this regard were sent to the two American companies (Apple and Google) on Monday after the Supreme Court refused to stay the 3 April order of Madras High Court, which had directed the Centre to ban TikTok app over concerns about access to pornographic content through it.

The app, meanwhile, has been taken down from both the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store.
 TikTok removed from Google Play Store (left) and removed from Apple App Store (right).
TikTok removed from Google Play Store (left) and removed from Apple App Store (right).
(Photo: Screengrab)q

Madurai Bench of Madras HC Refused to Lift Ban

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, on the other hand, also refused to lift the ban in the 16 April hearing.

The court, as per a report in The Economic Times, also directed to appoint senior advocate Arvind Datar as an independent counsel in the case.

The next hearing is scheduled for 24 April.

The apex court on Monday 15 April said that it will next take up the matter on 22 April, as the Madras High Court was already hearing it.

The latest order from the Indian government will come as a big jolt to the Chinese platform, which has seen its user base in the country increase by over 8 crore in the first quarter of 2019 itself.

TikTok has run into controversy in India, with many people using the platform to share content of violent, communal and even sexual nature. Most recently, a teen was shot dead while filming a video with a gun.

Existing Users Can Still Consume, Create Content

Users who’ve already downloaded the app can still consume and create content on it, but the decision to remove the app has been made so that new users can’t download it.

Both Google and Apple will have to respond to the ministry’s order, which is definitely going to hit their coffers, as TikTok has become a money churner on both the platforms over the past 12 months or so.

With further hearings slated to happen over the matter, TikTok is showing its best effort by removing content which it feels goes against the internet policies but even that might fall short, if the judiciary of the country doesn’t approve of its content.

If TikTok does get removed, this will be an unprecedented move, which could become a recurring pattern in the future that other entities might end up resorting to.

The app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, allows users to create short videos and then share them.

In a statement on Tuesday, TikTok said it has faith in the Indian judicial system.

"We are optimistic about an outcome that would allow over 120 million monthly active users in India to continue using TikTok to showcase their creativity and capture moments that matter in their everyday lives," it said.

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Published: 16 Apr 2019, 08:08 AM IST
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