The high court had on April 3 directed the Centre to ban mobile application "TikTok" as it voiced concern over the "pornographic and inappropriate content" being made available through such apps. They have also claimed that banning or restricting TikTok is a direct attack on the fundamental rights of them, and the users of the app.
As a result, the popular app and its Lite variant are no longer available for download from the Play Store in the Indian region.
YourStory reached out to TikTok about MeitY's directive to Google and Apple, and the company refused to comment on the matter. A public interest litigation was filed in Madurai high court, citing that Tik Tok spoils culture, and promotes vulgar, obscene content online and that the central government must impose a ban on Tik Tok.
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Chinese video-sharing application TikTok has been removed from the Google Play Store and the iOS app store in India a day after the Indian government asked that access to the popular application, which has over 230 million downloads in India, be banned. The Chinese app allows users to create and share short videos with special effects and has over 54 million monthly active users in India.
Earlier, TikTok had released a statement saying that the company is committed to improve and add new moderation features in order to curb misuse of their platform. The popular video making app has drawn enormous criticism recently over its misuse.
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.
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The state court has requested written submissions from Bytedance in the case and has scheduled its next hearing for April 24.
Salman Waris, a technology lawyer at TechLegis Advocates & Solicitors, said the legal action against Bytedance could set a precedent of Indian courts intervening to regulate content on social media and other digital platforms.
The company employed more than 250 people in India and was planning to invest more to expand its business, according to a report by The Times of India.
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