Indian Supreme Court agrees to legal proceeding against TikTok

The Indian government has asked Google and Apple to remove TikTok from their app stores

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The Indian government has asked Google and Apple to remove viral Chinese short-video app TikTok from their app stores after the Supreme Court gave the green light for a legal proceeding brought forward by the High Court of Madras, which is making the case for a ban of the app.

The move, first reported by Indian newspaper Economic Times today, seems to be just a formal procedure while the case is still being heard. Those who have already downloaded the app can continue to use it.

The Madras High Court asked the Indian central government to ban downloading of TikTok, known as Douyin to Chinese users, citing concerns of “pornographic” content and fears that using the app might be harmful to young people.

A ByteDance spokesperson said the company has “faith in the Indian Judicial system”.  The Supreme Court will next hear the case next Monday.

“We are committed to continuously enhancing our existing measures and introducing additional technical and moderation processes as part of our ongoing commitment to our users in India,” ByteDance said in a written statement to KrASIA.

The Beijing-based company said it has been stepping up efforts to take down “objectionable content” and removed over 6 million videos so far.

India is one of the most successful overseas markets for TikTok. The short-video app gained 89 million new users in the country in the past quarter, according to Sensor Tower.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad