Indian Court Reverses Ban on TikTok

Apps and Software

An Indian state court lifted a ban on video-sharing app TikTok in the country on Wednesday in support for the app's developer Beijing Bytedance Technology Co / Photo by: Yoga Balaji via Wikimedia Commons

 

An Indian state court lifted a ban on video-sharing app TikTok in the country on Wednesday, lawyers involved in the case told Reuters, in support for the app's developer Beijing Bytedance Technology Co.

K. Neelamegam, a lawyer who argued against Bytedance in the case, told the news agency that the state court in the southern state of Tamil Nadu upturned its decision for the ban after hearing the developer's plea.

The lawyer added that his client, a citizen who filed public interest litigation that called for the prohibition, doesn't have plans to appeal the court's recent resolution.

Reuters reported that the court released an order to prohibit downloads of TikTok earlier this month, stating that the popular video app was supporting pornographic content and could introduce children to sexual predators.

Last week, Apple Inc. and Alphabet's Google Inc. removed TikTok from their respective digital stores in India as they follow subsequent instructions from the country's IT ministry. Once it received the court's new order, the Indian IT ministry will ask Apple and Google to permit TikTok to return on their app stores, this according to a senior government official.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving our users better,” a TikTok company spokesman said, saying that the firm welcomes the court's resolution.

TikTok is among the most popular mobile apps in the world and, so far, has been downloaded by almost 300 million users in India—a significant figure out of the more than one billion downloads globally, as per analytics company Sensor Tower.

The app allows users to produce and share short videos with special effects, and features memes and music videos that users can lip-sync and dance to. However, some Indian politicians claimed that its content is inappropriate.

Bytedance argued in the state court that the platform is used to give users an avenue to share their videos and that the company should not be held responsible for the users' actions, according to another lawyer in the case, who asked to not be named.

In a court filing, the developer said there was only a "very minuscule" proportion of TikTok's video that was considered inappropriate or obscene. Bytedance previously asked the country's Supreme Court to abolish the ban, but the case was sent back to the Tamil Nadu state court.