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Government asks Apple & Google to take down TikTok from app stores

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Bengaluru, Apr 16: Google and Apple have been asked by the government to take down popular Chinese short-video mobile application TikTok from their app stores. The order by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) reportedly comes just a day after the Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay an earlier order by the Madras High Court to ban the app.

Government asks Apple & Google to take down TikTok from app stores

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on April 3 passed an order directing the government to prohibit downloading of TikTok in the country. The matter was then taken to the Supreme Court, which refused to stay the order on the grounds that the matter was still sub-judice and that it would hear the matter on 22 April.

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TikTok has come under heavy fire in India in recent months after reports surfaced earlier this year that the app was being used by the youth to mock and troll politicians and policemen. More recently, the app has been criticised for spreading pornographic and inappropriate content. The Madras HC has labeled the app "inappropriate for children" and has even prohibited media companies from telecasting videos posted on the app.

Last week, TikTok owner ByteDance said that it had removed over 6 million videos that violated its terms of use and community guidelines. The company, however, maintains that it cannot be held accountable for content that third parties upload on the app. It has appealed stay against the ban, claiming it would cause irreparable damage to the company and that it would harm free speech in India.

"We are committed to continuously enhancing our existing measures and introducing additional technical and moderation processes as part of our ongoing commitment to our users in India," TikTok said in emailed statement.

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TikTok has been one of the most downloaded apps over the past few quarters with a large portion of new users coming out of India.

According to market analysis firm Sensor Tower, India accounted for 88.6 million new users out of a total of 188 new users in the March quarter.

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