MASTERCLASSING

TikTok downloads blocked in India

Tyrone Stewart

TikTokChinese short-form video app TikTok has been removed from both the Google and Apple app stores in India after the country’s government demanded that it no longer be made available.

The decision from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology was made in response to a request from the Madras High Court to ban the app. The court determined that the app is encouraging pornography and makes children vulnerable to sexual predators.

The order does not affect the 120m monthly active users or the 240m total users who already have the TikTok app in India. It does, however, almost immediately kill off any further growth potential in a country which has become an important market for the app.

“We have faith in the Indian judicial system and 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,” said a statement from TikTok.

This isn’t the first time that TikTok has been punished over content and child safety concerns. In February, the creators of Musical.ly, the app which merged with TikTok after being acquired in 2017, reached a $5.7m settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly collected children’s information without parental consent.

Earlier this month, a BBC investigation found that TikTok was failing to ban users who post sexually explicit comments, despite the app putting efforts into online safety and digital wellbeing.