In a stern move, the Indian government has asked Apple and Google to remove Chinese short-video mobile application TikTok from their app stores, according to a report by The Economic Times. The tough stand taken by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) comes after the Supreme Court of India refused to stay an earlier order passed by the Madras High Court which banned the app. The matter has been scheduled for hearing on April 22.
The report goes on to add that the proposed ban by the government will stop downloads of the app, but the people who have downloaded the app will continue to use it. The ban follows reports that China’s Foxconn is expanding its manufacturing operations in India. Foxconn is Apple’s largest assembler and iPhone manufacturer.
The report further notes that the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court passed an order on April 3 asking the government to ban the downloading of the TikTok app. It also asked the media companies to refrain from telecasting videos made using this app.
Appearing for ByteDance, advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the ban was doing irreparable damage to the company and argued for a stay against the ban. The company said that it was like any other social media company and was not responsible for the action of third parties on the platform.
“At Tik-Tok, we have faith in the Indian Judicial system and the stipulations afforded to social media platforms by the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011,” said the company in an emailed statement.
According to the data from Sensor Tower, TikTok was the most downloaded app from Apple Store and Google Play during the first Quarter of 2019. And to get things into perspective, out of the total 188 million new users added in the March quarter, India accounted for 88.6 million.
Source: The Economic Times