The option to download TikTok, a popular video-sharing app, has vanished from Google and Apple app stores in India after the Madras High Court banned its downloads, in setback for its Chinese developer Bytedance Technology’s efforts to tap India’s growing internet content market. Users still looking to download Tik Tok, have been reported to be looking for ‘TikTok download’ and ‘Tik Tok apk’ online to gain access to the app. TikTok ban also triggered a series of jokes and memes on social media.
Downloading TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with special effects which are hugely popular in India but conservative pressure groups and politicians say its content is inappropriate.
The high court in Tamil Nadu asked the government on April 3 to ban TikTok downloads, saying it encouraged pornography and warning that sexual predators could target child users.
The government sent a letter requesting Apple and Google to follow the state court’s order and not allow TikTok download, according to an IT ministry official.
Google blocked access to TikTok download in its Play store in India to comply with the court’s directive, a person with direct knowledge told Reuters on Tuesday. TikTok app was not available for download in the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store on Wednesday.
Google said in a statement it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws. Apple did not respond to requests for comment.
A spokesman for TikTok in India declined to comment on the app’s removal, saying the matter was still in the courts.