Google and Apple have removed Chinese internet firm Bytedance’s social media app TikTok from the Play Store and App Storefollowing directions of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to do so, after an order by the Madras High Court on April 3 to prohibit its downloads.
The popular app used by teengers for creation and sharing of short videos was available on application stores of both Google and Apple until Tuesday evening, but is no longer available for downloads on both platforms. According to an earlier report by ET MeitY’s order will help stop further downloads of the application, but people who have already downloaded it will be able to continue using it on their smartphones.
The app is therefore not available for download from Google playstore now. Yesterday, the Madras High Court did not accept the request of the Bytedance Technology Pvt Ltd - the Indian operator and marketer of the app- to suspend the ban. The bench of Justices Kirubakaran and S SSundar appointed Senior Advocate Arvind P Datar as amicus curiae to assist the Court and posted the matter to April 24 for further hearing.
While acting on a PIL by an advocate seeking ban of the app, the High Court had on April 3 directed the state authorities to prohibit downloading of TikTok Mobile Application and prohibited media from telecasting the videos made using the app. The Court said that the app was "inappropriate" for children and exposed them to several dangers.
The SC on Monday did not stay the Madras HC's order, and asked the HC to hear the objections of Bytedance on April 16. The SC then posted the matter to April 22. TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, has become hugely popular in India. It had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India, app analytics firm Sensor Tower said in February. More than 30 million users in India installed it in January 2019, 12 times more than in the same month last year.