The Madras High Court recently denied the stay order on popular mobile application TikTok, and the government on Tuesday asked Google and Apple to comply with the court order and to block access to the application. The country's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has reportedly asked Apple and Google to remove the app from their respective app stores.
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.
The Supreme Court today directed the Madras High Court to hear the case concerning the ban imposed on the use and download of TikTok on April 16. In addition to ordering Google and Apple to make the app unavailable for downloading, the court also ordered media houses to stop telecasting videos made using the TikTok app.
TikTok had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India, app analytics firm Sensor Tower said in February.
A spokesman for TikTok in Indiadeclined to comment on the app's removal resulting from the TikTok ban in India, saying the matter was still in the courts.
The ban order came after the court noted that children were being exposed to pornographic and inappropriate material.
The move comes after the High Court determinedTikTok was encouraging pornography and illicit content.
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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. The case is up for hearing in the Madras High Court, after which the SC will decide on its fate on 22nd April.
The Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna has listed the case for April 22, on which date the Court will be apprised of the developments that take place at the Madras High Court.
In its court filing, ByteDance argued that a "very minuscule" proportion of TikTok content was considered inappropriate or obscene.
TikTok also argues that its platform is merely an intermediary under the Information Technology Act and can not be held liable for the actions of third party users on the platform.
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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