Apple And Google Takes Tiktok Down From Indian App Store As Per Government Order

The logo of TikTok application is seen on a mobile phone screen in this picture illustration
The logo of TikTok application is seen on a mobile phone screen in this picture illustration taken February 21, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui)

Apple and Google have taken down Tiktok from app stores in India following a government order for child safety concerns.

On Tuesday evening, Apple and Google users who wished to download the Tiktok were no longer able to find the video-sharing app on both the App Store and the Play Store. The act was both companies' response to the Indian government order to remove Tiktok from Indian app stores.

On April 3, an order from the Madras High Court issued an order that prohibits the download of Tiktok from the entire Indian app store. As a result, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued the same order through a letter sent to Apple and Google by the federal government which the two tech giants conformed to.

The order to take down Tiktok from the Indian app stores is to prevent the swell of child pornography and endangerment as the Indian government fears. It was also to protect the children using the app from exposure to sexual predators.

The ruling from the Indian government stated that Tiktok is an app that degrades culture and encourages pornography. According to the government, pedophiles and explicit disturbing content, social stigma, and media health issues between teens are some of the possible outcomes of the video-sharing app.

Byte Dance, the Chinese company that owns Tiktok filed an appeal on India's supreme court to put the ban on hold claiming that their freedom of speech has been violated. The court, however, rejected the appeal resulting to Apple and Google removing the app from the Indian app stores.

Apple and Google's response of removing Tiktok from the app store and play store in India affects the present 500 million Tiktok user count as India holds a big part in the mentioned figures. Before the issuance of the removal order, the video-sharing app gained a total of 120 million active users in India while the app has been downloaded for 240 million times.

Users may no longer be able to download Tiktok in India but they can continue to enjoy their formerly downloaded app. However, updates will no longer be available as the app will no longer be supported by the app stores such as the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Tiktok, formerly Musical.ly was put on the spot since February when the US Federal Trade Commission ordered ByteDance to pay a $5.7 million settlement for child privacy law violation allegations when they were accused of collecting personal data without parental consent from users under the age of 13. 

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