The Chinese video-sharing app has been seeking backlash from certain sections of the country because of the objectionable content published on its platform. With the Madras High Court ordering a ban on the download of the app back on April 3, TIkTok pled the Supreme Court to get a stay on the order. However, SC rejected the plea yesterday and ordered for a hearing on April 22, five days after the Madras High Court’s hearing on April 16. SC did not give a favorable decision to TikTok, citing the reason that the matter was still sub-judice.
Following the SC refusal on the stay, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has asked the leading mobile phone OS providers Google and Apple to take down the TikTok app from their respective app stores. This comes months after the ban on a gaming app Blue Whale, which prompted users to commit suicide, leading to several deaths in the country. The High Court deemed TikTok to have objectionable content, characterized as derogatory, obscene and hurting someone else’s sentiments as well.
MeitY’s decision will only mean no new user can download the app but it does not stop the existing users from using the app. TikTok officials further defended themselves by saying that the app is just like any other social media platform and it is unfair on the part of the government and the Indian judicial system in singling them out. However, they have faith in the Supreme Court of India to get a favorable decision according to the stipulations afforded to the social media platforms IT (Intermediaries Guidelines) Act in 2011.
If this decision goes on the floor, it will be a huge hit for TikTok, which is the third most installed in the Q1 with 88.6 million users from India out of the 188 million users in the March Quarter. One of the biggest factors that make TikTok such a huge success is its Indian market and this is exactly why these are testing times for the China-based app.