TikTok taken down from Google Play Store and Apple App Store
Following the stay order on the ban from the Supreme Court, the Chinese video-sharing app can no longer be downloaded in India
Those who have the app should still be able to use it
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Chinese social media and video creation app TikTok has been taken off of the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India following a directive by the Supreme Court to stay the ban on the app. TikTok was banned by the Madras High Court in India earlier this month, following a petition which alleged that the platform pomotes and encourages pornography, child abuse, and suicide. A stay was sought by the app makers on the ban order in the Supreme Court, which was denied by the apex authority. Following the SC judgement, The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) directed Google and Apple to remove TikTok from their respective app stores and the two tech giants have indeed followed MeitY’s order.
The TikTok app, which has over 54 million monthly active users in India and over 1 billion downloads overall, has been criticised by social activists for degrading the culture of the Indian society. The app is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Co.
After the Madras High Court refused to stay the ban on TikTok, the court appointed Arvind Datar as an independent counsel. Post this development, TikTok sent out an emailed statement saying, “We welcome the decision of the Madras High Court to appoint Arvind Datar as Amicus Curae (independent counsel) to the court. We have faith in the Indian judicial system and we are optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by over 120 million monthly active users in India, who continue using TikTok to showcase their creativity and capture moments that matter in their everyday lives.”
The Supreme Court Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna has now listed the case for April 22, where the apex court will be given an update on the developments that take place at the Madras High Court. TikTok has claimed that the ex-parte order of Madras High Court is arbitrary and illegal. The app makers have alleged that the ban on the app violates right to freedom of speech and expression and will result in financial losses for the company. Challenging the court’s order, TikTok has said, “It is submitted that this is a blatant abuse of the process of ‘Public Interest Litigation’, which has evolved as an important tool to protect the larger interest of the people of this country.”
Even though TikTok has been taken down from the most popular app stores in India, those who have the app should still be able to use it. However, it isn't certain if using the app will be punishible by law in the country, similar to how playing PUBG Mobile resulted in several arrests when the app was banned temporarily.
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