TikTok Ban in India Lifted by Madras High Court

TikTok users in India can breathe a sigh of relief as the temporary ban on the app downloads gets lifted, making the app available for download again.

The popular Chinese short video app TikTok was removed earlier this month from the Google and Apple app stores following an order by the Supreme Court. The court in the southern state of Tamil Nadu said the app was encouraging pornography and the spread of explicit content and “cultural degradation”.

Bytedance (Source: Internet)

Beijing Bytedance Technology Co., Ltd. appealed to the court, saying that the ban is incurring “financial losses” of up to $500,000 a day for its developer, and has put more than 250 jobs at risk, according to Reuters. While the ban was in effect, it only prevented new users from downloading the app. The app was still available for use by India’s 120 million monthly active users who already have it on their mobile phones.

“Banning has had adverse impacts on the user base of this app, losing close to 1 million new users per day … It is estimated that approximately six million requests for downloads could not be effected since the ban came into effect,” the company said in the court filing.

While lifting the ban, the India court also said that the firm would face a contempt of court should pornographic material be found on TikTok. It is unclear what swayed the court to make its decision, but TikTok has promised to apply strict regulatory measures to ensure a safe and appropriate platform.

“We are glad about this decision and we believe it is also greatly welcomed by our thriving community in India, who use TikTok as a platform to showcase their creativity. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving our users better. While we’re pleased that our efforts to fight against misuse of the platform has been recognised, the work is never “done” on our end. We are committed to continuously enhancing our safety features as a testament to our ongoing commitment to our users in India,” TikTok said in a statement issued soon after the court’s order.

TikTok’s popularity has seen a rapid growth in India. According to a report by Sensor Tower, TikTok added 188 million users in the first quarter this year, 88.6 million of which are from India.

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