TikTok no longer available on Google and Apple stores

TikTok app

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday refused to lift the ban on TikTok and set April 24 as the next hearing date.

Bytedance challenged the court's ban order in the Supreme Court last week, saying it went against freedom of speech rights.

TikTok, the popular Chinese app, is no longer available to download via app stores in India, a couple of weeks after a state court asked the government to implement TikTok ban in India.

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. Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Following the order, India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) urged global tech giants like Google and Apple to take down the video-sharing application from their app stores, media reports claimed. TikTok is a popular mobile application that allows users to create short lip-synced videos. It had also said that it removed over 6 million videos that violated its "Terms of Use and Community Guidelines', following a review of content generated by its users in India.However it has not commented on the removal of the app from Google and Apple stores yet". "We are optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by over 120 million monthly active users in India, who continue using TikTok to showcase their creativity and capture moments that matter in their everyday lives", a TikTok spokesperson said.

Although the app is now not available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store, people can get them from the third-party app stores such as apkpure, androidapkbox, uptodown and apkmirror, techARC said.

Meanwhile, TikTok, in a statement, said: "We are committed to continuously enhancing our existing measures and introducing additional technical and moderation processes as a part of our ongoing commitment to our users in India". India made up for about 39% of TikTok's 500 Million-strong userbase in 2018, and a move like this strongly affects the app and its ability to do business in such a key market. This was a 12 time increase since January of the same year. The popular video making app has drawn huge criticism recently over its misuse.

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