Google & Apple blocks TikTok app in India

Tiktok on the Google Play Store

Tiktok on the Google Play Store

TikTok, the popular Chinese app that runs on user-generated content, is positive about the appointment of Arvind Datar as amicus curiae (independent counsel) to the court in the case involving its ban in India, the company said on Tuesday.

TikTok, the popular - albeit controversial - Chinese video-sharing app, has run into problems in India. In addition to ordering Google and Apple to make the app unavailable for downloading, the court also ordered media houses to stop telecasting videos made using the TikTok app.

In response to the concerns raised in India, TikTok has removed more than six million videos that violated its terms of use and community guidelines.

The app is already banned in Bangladesh and has been fined in the U.S. for illegally collecting information on children.

A spokesman for TikTok in India declined to comment on the app's removal resulting from the TikTok ban in India, saying the matter was still in the courts.

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. Google said in a statement it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws. Many Chinese apps, including TikTok, have come under fire not only in India but also in the USA, the UK, Hong Kong and Indonesia for content that is often dangerously close to exposing children to nudity and possibly those who seek to coerce or groom underage users into committing explicit acts.

The top court had referred the case back to the state court, where a judge on Tuesday rejected Bytedance's request to put the ban order on hold, K. Neelamegam, a lawyer arguing against Bytedance in the case, said.

TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, has become hugely popular in India but has been criticised by some politicians who say its content is inappropriate. In India, the app has been cited for "encouraging pornography".

They also expressed that they're not responsible for third-party content on their platform and the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 gives TikTok conditional legal safeguards in that regard.

India is one of several nations across Asia adopting more draconian oversight of internet companies, similar to the way China regulates the web.

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