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Indian government asks Apple, Google to remove TikTok from app stores (Update: Ban lifted)
Update: April 24, 2019 at 5:50 p.m. ET: After just over a week, the Madras high court has vacated its order to prohibit downloading TikTok. Presumably, this reversal means the TikTok app will remain downloadable on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
TikTok’s developers assured the court that it has mechanisms in place to regulate content uploaded by the app’s users. The court claimed if the mechanisms prove to be ineffective, it may attract contempt of court.
Original article: April 16, 2019 at 7:53 a.m. ET: The Indian government has reportedly asked Apple and Google to remove the mega-popular TikTok app from its app stores. The request came via the country’s ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY), according to the Economic Times, citing two people “familiar with the matter.”
India’s decision also comes a day after the country’s Supreme Court refused to stay an order by a lower court to ban the app. The government’s request to Apple and Google is a bid to curb more downloads of the app, but people who already have TikTok won’t be affected, the two sources told the outlet.
“The High Court asked the government to prohibit download of TikTok application. It (MeitY) is ensuring that by asking Google and Apple to delete it from the app stores. Now it is up to the companies to do it or appeal the order,” one of the sources was quoted as saying.
Android’s open nature also means that TikTok can be acquired from third-party app stores and repositories. It’s unclear whether the government will be targeting these avenues as well.
The initial decision to ban TikTok came after the court said it was “dangerous for children.” But the company reportedly said it’s removed over six million videos for violating its terms. The firm has also asserted that it’s being singled out unfairly, saying it was just like any other social media platform.
We’ve contacted TikTok and parent company ByteDance for a statement, and will update the article accordingly when we receive a response.
Do you think a ban is justified? Give us your take in the comments!