Publicado: Mier, Abril 17, 2019
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

TikTok ban in India: Google blocks Chinese app after Madras HC order

TikTok ban in India: Google blocks Chinese app after Madras HC order

The top court had referred the case back to the state court, where a judge on Tuesday rejected Bytedance's request to put the ban order on hold, K. Neelamegam, a lawyer arguing against Bytedance in the case, said.

The state court has requested written submissions from Bytedance in the case and will next hear it on April 24.

The rise of Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok in India has been so spectacular over the past year that it is now almost impossible for any social media user to not have come across its content. The Madras High Court had banned it after deeming it "inappropriate for children". On Tuesday, the court asked Apple and Google to block the TikTok app from its play store.

The company employs more than 250 people in India and had plans for more investment as it expands the business, it said. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had sent orders to the two companies after the Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay a Madras High Court order that had banned the download of the app. It also restricted media companies from telecasting the videos made using the application.

"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".

The owners of TikTok are positive about the appointment of Arvind Datar as amicus curiae (independent counsel).

ByteDance counsel had argued that it can not be held liable for actions of third parties on the platform. Like all social media apps, this one too has been misused by criminals.

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The "disproportionate" ban has resulted in infringement of fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, it said. Regulators then asked Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Apple remove TikTok from their app stores.

TikTok said in a statement that the company has faith in the Indian judicial system.

Google declined to comment on the order.

The IT Act's Intermediary Guidelines give conditional legal safeguards to technology platforms for third-party content shared through their platforms. 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.

Now, the app has been taken down from the Google Play Store, while iOS users can still download the popular app from the Apple App Store. According to a survey in 2018, India accounts for 39% of the user base of Tik Tok.

Nonetheless, as noted, TikTok has confirmed that it has removed more than 6 million videos, following a review of content generated by users in India.

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