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

Google Blocks TikTok In India After Court Order;

The Madras High Court recently denied the stay order on popular mobile application TikTok, and the government on Tuesday asked Google and Apple to comply with the court order and to block access to the application. Those users will not be impacted by the removal of the app from the Google Play store.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on April 3 passed an order directing the government to prohibit downloading of the TikTok app in the country.

At time of writing, Apple has not pulled TikTok from its App Store in India.

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.

Tiktok has already been banned in neighbouring Bangladesh and hit with a large fine in the United States for illegally collecting information from children. He further contested that the Indian High Court in Madras had issued an interim order without giving TikTok the opportunity to defend itself.

The Madras High Court had, in an ex-parte order, prohibited the download and use of the popular mobile video-sharing app.

The issue will be heard in the Supreme Court on April 22, but the app could potentially vanish from stores before then.

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The owner of app, ByteDance, had moved to the Indian Supreme Court last week against the high court's verdict, seeking a stay against the ban as it was causing 'irreparable damage to the company.

A Bytedance spokeswoman declined to comment on the app store decisions, but provided a statement on the India situation: "The case is still ongoing to date", the company said.

The Chennai case was launched by an activist group which said the app encouraged paedophiles and pornography.

TikTok is problematic because it has been found to host user-generated content that is considered to be inappropriate.

India is one of several nations across Asia adopting more draconian oversight of internet companies, similar to the way China regulates the web. However, the apex court refused to interfere saying that ban directive was just an interim order and the high court is scheduled to hear the matter on April 16. TikTok has argued that it is not responsible for the kind of content that third-parties upload.

"We are optimistic about an outcome that would allow over 120 million monthly active users in India to continue using TikTok to showcase their creativity and capture moments that matter in their everyday lives", it said. With the app no longer available to download in India, the TikTok ban comes into effect, representing a setback for developer Bytedance Technology's efforts to tap users in a key market.