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TikTok removed from Google, Apple app stores after Supreme Court refuses stay on ban

Madras High Court had said that it encouraged pornography

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MUMBAI: Chinese video app TikTok developed by Bytedance Technology has been taken down from Google and Apple app stores in India, after the Supreme Court refused to stay the ban issued by the Madras High Court. The app allowed users to create and share short videos with special effects. Those in favour of the ban called its content as inappropriate.

Madras HC had asked the federal government to ban TikTok saying it encouraged pornography and that sexual predators could target child users. The federal government sent a letter requesting Apple and Google to abide by the state court’s order, according to a Reuters report citing sources from the IT Ministry.

TikTok had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India, app analytics firm Sensor Tower said in February. More than 30 million users installed the app in January 2019, 12 times more than in the same month last year. India is Tiktok’s biggest market with nearly 40 percent of its 500 million user base coming from here.

In February, the app was fined $5.7 million by the US federal trade commission for allegedly violating child privacy laws. TikTok was said to be collecting personal data of children under 13 without parental consent. The Indian ban does not affect existing users.

The Madras HC has requested written submissions from Bytedance in the case and has scheduled its next hearing for 24 April.

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