Google takes down TikTok after SC refuses to stay ban

TikTok had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India

TikTok had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had asked Google and Apple to block the app following the Supreme Court's refusal to stay the original Madras HC court order on April 3.

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. A Tamil Nadu court asked the government to ban TikTok due to inappropriate content. It (MeitY) is ensuring that by asking Google and Apple to delete it from the app stores.

And the moves in India to ban Tiktok are the latest in a string of woes for the popular app.

The app is already banned in Bangladesh and has been fined in the U.S. for illegally collecting information on children.

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Google declined to comment on the order.

"The Petitioner in the impugned order herein has invoked the Writ jurisdiction of the Hon'ble Madras High Court under Artcile 226 of the Constitution of India, as a "Public Interest Litigation". On 15 April, the apex court fixed April 22 as the next date for hearing. Google said in a statement it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws.

Quoting sources, a PTI report said instructions in this regard were sent to the two companies on Monday after the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the Madras High Court's order. Many Chinese apps, including TikTok, have come under fire not only in India but also in the U.S., the UK, Hong Kong and Indonesia for content that is often dangerously close to exposing children to nudity and possibly those who seek to coerce or groom underage users into committing explicit acts.

The Chennai case was launched by an activist group which said the app encouraged paedophiles and pornography.

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TikTok is an immensely popular video sharing app that boasts of about 0.5 billion users, over 119 million of whom are in India.

ByteDance counsel had argued that it can not be held liable for actions of third parties on the platform. TikTok had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India. On Tuesday, the Madras High Court also pushed the hearing to April 24.

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.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Chinese company ByteDance, said there were over billion downloads of the mobile app and ex-parte orders were passed by the Madurai bench of Madras High Court.

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