Chinese video sharing app TikTok banned in India

TikTok app

The Indian government has ordered Google and Apple to take down the Chinese-owned Tiktok video app after a court expressed concerns over the spread of pornographic material. On Tuesday, the court asked Apple and Google to block the TikTok app from its play store.

Jokes, clips and footage related to India's thriving movie industry dominate the app's platform, along with memes and videos in which youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-sync and dance to popular music. Where Apple did not respond to the request for comment, TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Google's move.

The bench hearing the case said: "It is evident from media reports that pornography and inappropriate contents are made available in this kind of cyber applications".

Last week, the company said it had removed over 6 million videos that violated its terms of use and community guidelines, following an exhaustive review of content generated by its users in India. The app already has a user base in excess of 100 million and the app isn't going to disappear from their phone just because it's been banned.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna has listed the case for April 22, on which date the Court will be apprised of the developments that take place at the Madras High Court.

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While Apple and Google are yet to comment on the directive, TikTok said in a statement: "We are committed to continuously enhancing our existing measures and introducing additional technical and moderation processes as a part of our ongoing commitment to our users in India". In its defence, TIkTok states that it can't be held liable for the kind of content that "third-parties" upload on the platform.

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.

TikTok argues in the petition before the Supreme Court that if the ban imposed by the High Court is not lifted, it would cause irreparable loss to the petitioner and would give a significant advantage to the petitioner's competitors. The next hearing in the case has been posted for April 24. Having said that, the company had recently announced that it had removed videos which were in violation of their guidelines.

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.

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