Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Google removes TikTok from Play Store after Indian government and judiciary’s directive

Google removes TikTok from Play Store after Indian government and judiciary’s directive

TikTok, in a statement, welcomed the Madras High Court's decision to appoint Arvind Datar independent counsel to assist the court in assessing the impact of the mobile application.

Bytedance challenged the court's ban order in India's Supreme Court last week, saying it went against freedom of speech rights in India. Whereas, Google's Play Store instantly blocked the downloads in India after receiving a request from the concerned Ministry. Apple did not respond to requests for comment, while TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Google's move. And, the three-person Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will hear the case on April 22 after observing the proceedings tomorrow.

Sources said instructions in this regard were sent to the two American companies on Monday after the Supreme Court refused to stay the April 3 order of Madras High Court that had directed the Centre to ban TikTok app over concerns about access to pornographic content through it. Users who had the app will continue to be able to use it.

As per the officials", "The High Court asked the government to prohibit download of TikTok application. It had also said that it removed over 6 million videos that violated its "Terms of Use and Community Guidelines', following a review of content generated by its users in India.However it has not commented on the removal of the app from Google and Apple stores yet". And China has called for short-form video apps like TikTok to be responsible for the content their users upload. It (MeitY) is ensuring that by asking Google and Apple to delete it from the app stores. More than 30 million users in India installed it in January 2019, 12 times more than in the same month a year ago.

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ByteDance, the Chinese company behind the hugely popular app, has appealed the ban arguing TikTok was like any other social media platform and the ban was discriminatory and arbitrary. The next hearing in the case has been posted for April 24.

The company had faith in the judicial system and was "optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by" its millions of users in India, he added.

During the hearing on Tuesday, TikTok submitted before the Court that it has technology in place to filter inappropriate content, reports Bar and Bench.

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