New Delhi: The Indian government on Tuesday ordered tech giants Google and Apple to take down the Chinese-owned Tiktok video app after a court expressed concerns over the spread of pornographic material, sources told AFP.
TikTok has already been banned in neighbouring Bangladesh and hit with an enormous fine in the United States for illegally collecting information from children.
The app, which claims to have 500 million users worldwide with more than 120 million in India, has been fighting the effort to shut it down after a high court in Chennai called for the ban on April 3.
Industry sources said the information technology ministry had now sent out an order to tech giants Google and Apple to remove the app from their online stores. Neither of the US companies would comment.
The app — which allows users to make and share short videos — can still be used by those who have already downloaded it on their smartphones.
India’s Supreme Court, which on Monday rejected a TikTok appeal to suspend the order, is to hear the case again on April 22.
“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,” TikTok said in a statement Tuesday.
The Chennai case was launched by an activist group which said the app encouraged paedophiles and pornography.
Bangladesh banned TikTok in February as part of a clampdown on internet pornography.
The same month, the US Federal Trade Commission said a $5.7 million fine ordered against TikTok was the largest imposed in a child privacy investigation.