Google Blocks TikTok In India After Court Order; "Optimistic", Says App

Nellie Chapman
April 17, 2019

India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has reportedly asked for the removal of China's video and live-streaming app TikTok, with the Economic Times claiming the government asked Apple and Google to remove it from their respective app stores.

TikTok is touted to be one of the fastest-growing apps with vast markets like India driving its growth, contributing 88.6 million new users to the platform over the last three months, per reports. He further contested that the Indian High Court in Madras had issued an interim order without giving TikTok the opportunity to defend itself.

The court appointed senior advocate Arvind Datar as an independent counsel in the case to examine the implications of the app.

"We have removed over 6 million videos that violated our terms of use and community guidelines, following an exhaustive review of contents generated by our users in India", the company said in the statement.

Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, Tiktok app allows users to create short videos and share them. The ban order came after court noted that children were being exposed to pornographic and inappropriate material.

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Earlier, the Supreme Court had rejected TikTok's plea to stay the initial Madras High Court order from April 3, which put a ban on the app's downloads.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna has listed the case for April 22, on which date the Court will be apprised of the developments that take place at the Madras High Court.

The government sent a letter requesting Apple & Google to abide by the state court's order. Even if the app is banned, people can still download them from other sources or by changing their location.

In its plea to the SC, TikTok had argued that it is an intermediary as defined under Section 79 of the country's Information Technology Act, and it can not be held liable for actions of third parties on the platform. Where Apple did not respond to the request for comment, TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Google's move.

TikTok (through PLR Chambers) approached the Supreme Court asking for the order to be set aside, as it would cause irreparable loss to the company.

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