Google, Apple block Chinese video app TikTok from app stores in India

The move comes after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology asked the internet behemoths to pull down TikTok.

Google and Apple have removed popular Chinese video app, TikTok, from their app stores in India. The move follows after media reports suggested on Tuesday that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had asked the internet behemoths to pull down the application.

MeitY's move comes after the Supreme Court of India refused to stay TikTok’s plea on the Madras High Court’s directive on banning the app from April 3.

Also read: TikTok ban: Chinese app welcomes Madras HC decision to appoint independent counsel

YourStory had reached out to MeitY for a comment, but did not elicit any response from the ministry at the time of publishing this article.

On Tuesday, TikTok had welcomed the Madras High Court’s move of appointing a legal counsel to look into the matter. In a statement, it said,

“We welcome the decision of the Madras High Court to appoint Arvind Datar as amicus curiae (independent counsel) to the court. We have faith in the Indian judicial system, and we are optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by over 120 million monthly active users in India, who continue using TikTok to showcase their creativity and capture moments that matter in their everyday lives.”   

Further, the Madras High Court had pushed the hearing date on the matter to April 24.

After the directive from the Madras High Court on April 3, sorting a ban on the Chinese App, TikTok moved the Supreme Court (SC) to get a stay on the HC directive. However, on April 15, the SC refused TikTok’s plea to stay Madras High Court’s directive on the ban.

In addition, the Supreme Court said it will hear the case on April 22, after the Madras High Court hears the case on April 16.

TikTok released a statement saying, 

“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 April 16, 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. In line with this, we have been stepping up efforts to take down objectionable content.”

So far, TikTok has removed over six million videos that have violated its terms of use and community guidelines, and has said that it is following ‘an exhaustive review of content generated by our users in India’.     

At present, TikTok employs close to 250 people in India.


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