TikTok app removed from Google and Apple stores in India

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The move comes hours after a court in southern Tamil Nadu state refused a request by China's Bytedance Technology to suspend a ban on its TikTok app, putting its future in one of its key markets in doubt.

The bench said the high court is already seized of the matter and the ban order was just an interim order.

Following which, the centre had sent a letter to Apple and Google to abide by the high court's order, according to an IT ministry official.

Update: Google and Apple have pulled TikTok from their mobile application stores in India.

Since the interim order was passed ex-parte (i.e. without hearing the other side), ByteDance challenged the same in the Supreme Court of India as per procedure.

Citing Madras High Court order on April 3, Government of India today banned TikTok app downloads in India.

However, the very next day, Google removed the TikTok listing from the Play Store and commented on the matter as under: "As a policy, we don't comment on individual apps, but adhere to the law in countries we operate in".

In response to the concerns raised in India, TikTok has removed more than six million videos that violated its terms of use and community guidelines. Apple followed suit, blocking the app, and you will no longer be able to find the app on either of the two most popular stores.

Earlier, TikTok had released a statement saying that the company is committed to improve and add new moderation features in order to curb misuse of their platform. The case is up for hearing in the Madras High Court, after which the SC will decide on its fate on 22nd April.

TikTok is a video making app, which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects.

At the time of writing this article, TikTok was still available in the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store. The app was globally ranked third amongst the most installed apps during the first quarter of 2019.

TikTok is problematic because it has been found to host user-generated content that is considered to be inappropriate.

Jokes, clips and footage related to India's thriving movie industry dominate the TikTok platform, along with memes and videos in which youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-sync and dance to popular music.

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