Google and Apple have both removed Chinese video app TikTok from their respective stores in India following a court ruling. A state court in the country issued a ruling prohibiting the download of the app, which will definitely affect the growth of the app already doing will in that country.
TikTok, which allows users to share short videos with special effects, will no longer be available for download in those two stores because the court ruled that its content is “inappropriate,” reports Reuters.
The ruling issued by a court in southern Tamil Nadu state, asked authorities to ban TikTok because it encouraged pornography, warning that sexual predators could target child users.
Acting upon the court ruling, the federal government in India has requested that Apple and Google should both respect the court order, an IT ministry official said per Reuters.
In September, TikTok topped the chart in the US App Store in the US when it surpassed Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat in terms of downloads. Sensor Tower stats per TechCrunch reported back then that TikTok installs from the App Store were higher than those of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube in the US in October.
Further stats from Sensor Tower adds that TikTok video app has been downloaded more than 230 million times in India. The company, however, is optimistic that things can be worked out. A spokesperson for the company said per The Verge that TikTok has “faith in the Indian judicial system,” adding that “we are optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by over 120 million monthly active users in India.”
Last August, WhatsApp turned down a request made by India to start tracking messages shared between users of the app. The request by authorities in India came on the heels of mob violence recorded in the country last year.
A WhatsApp spokesperson Carl Woog in a statement per CNN on said: “People rely on WhatsApp for all kinds of sensitive conversations, including with their doctors, banks and families.”
WhatsApp operates an end-to-end encryption feature that makes it almost impossible to track shared messages between users. According to Woog, tracing individual messages “would undermine end-to-end encryption and the private nature of WhatsApp, creating the potential for serious misuse. We will not weaken the privacy protections WhatsApp provides.”
Apple faced similar situation as WhatsApp where the company is being threatened with an iPhone block should certain actions remain untaken. If Apple fails to enable a “Do Not Call” reporting app on its devices, regulatory authorities might block the iPhones in India. Apple at first was not comfortable about the idea due to privacy concerns, but seems to have bowed to pressure and will now work with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.