Google has blocked access to the hugely popular video app TikTok in India to comply with a state court’s directive to prohibit its downloads. The move comes hours after a court in Tamil Nadu state refused a request by China’s Bytedance Technology to suspend a ban on its TikTok app. The state court had on April 3 asked the federal government to ban TikTok, saying it encouraged pornography and made child users vulnerable to sexual predators. Its ruling came after an individual launched public interest litigation calling for a ban.
The app was still available on Apple’s platforms late on Tuesday. But it was no longer available on Google’s Play store in India. Google said in a statement it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws. TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, has become hugely popular in India. But it has been criticised by some politicians who say its content is inappropriate.
TikTok had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India, app analytics firm Sensor Tower said in February. More than 30 million users in India installed it in January 2019. Then 12 times more than in the same month last year. Jokes, clips and footage related to India’s thriving movie industry dominate the app’s platform. Along with memes and videos in which youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-sync and dance to popular music.