TikTok ban: Chinese app welcomes Madras HC decision to appoint independent counsel

TikTok had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India

The government has asked tech giants Google and Apple to comply with the Madras High Court's order that had banned popular mobile app TikTok, according to sources.

The move, by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), comes after the Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay an earlier order by the Madras High Court to ban the app. The court had directed the centre to ban it over concerns about access to pornographic content through it.

"We welcome the decision of the Madras High Court to appoint Arvind Datar as Amicus Curae (independent counsel) to the court". The next hearing in the case has been posted for April 24. Later, the matter was brought to the Indian Supreme Court where the Tiktok owners argued for a stay on the ban and asserted that it can not be held liable for actions of third parties on the platform.

In a statement, TikTok said that the company has faith in the Indian judicial system. Bytedance fought the proposal, but was overruled by Supreme Court.

TikTok has managed to add over 88.6 million users in Q1 2019 itself and now with the ban in effect, the download numbers are surely in for a toss at least on Google and Apple app stores.

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The order passed by the High Court is based on various unsubstantiated and factually incorrect or gross exaggerations made by the PIL litigant, the petitioner company states. The court also prohibited the media from telecasting the videos made using TikTok.

TikTok app has become a craze in India with more than 54 million monthly active users in the country. "The decision to ban TikTok makes sense because it has a much younger audience which includes children who are still in school, unlike Twitter which has more mature audience", says Shradha Agarwal, COO, Grapes Digital.

TikTok is problematic because it has been found to host user-generated content that is considered to be inappropriate.

They also expressed that they're not responsible for third-party content on their platform and the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 gives TikTok conditional legal safeguards in that regard.

However, users can go for alternative ways to download the app, but that can be illegal, and the downloaded code can be infected with viruses as well.

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