Indian government asks Google and Apple to remove TikTok from their app stores: Report

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With over 9 million downloads on the Google Play Store, TikTok is a very popular video making app around the world. According to a report by The Economic Times, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has asked Google and Apple to de-list TikTok from their respective app stores. This development happened after the Supreme Court of India declined a stay order on the ban of the video making app which was issued earlier by the Madras High Court.

As per a report by Sensor Tower, TikTok acquired 188 million users in Q1 2019 and ByteDance (the company behind the app) has India to thank for over 88.6 million additions. In India, the app has been cited for “encouraging pornography”.

The case for ByteDance is being argued by Abhishek Manu Singhvi who is a senior advocate in India. He had earlier filed an appeal for a stay order on imposing a ban on TikTok in India. 

TikTok released a statement on the case and said, “As per the proceedings in the Supreme Court today, the Madras High Court will hear the matter on ex parte ad interim order. 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. At TikTok, 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 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.”

Interestingly, TikTok has received a similar treatment in Bangladesh and for a while in Indonesia where it was banned for a week. The case being made by TikTok here is that it’s a social media app similar to Facebook and it cannot possibly have control over the content its user’s post. Having said that, the company had recently announced that it had removed videos which were in violation of their guidelines.

If Google and Apple go forward with the order and de-list TikTok from their app stores, the download numbers are expected to take a huge plunge.

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