After an order from the Madras High Court, Google blocked popular video-sharing mobile application TikTok over concern of illicit content. The move would handicap the app’s owner, China’s Bytedance Ltd., the world’s most highly valued startup, in one of its most promising and largest market.
The court directed the Government of India to ban TikTok, citing concerns the video sharing mobile app exposed children to troubling content, including pornography. The Chinese firm Bytedance fought the Madras High Court’s proposal in the Supreme Court, but lost.
The court ruling restricts future downloads of the app in India. Indian Regulators then asked Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. to remove TikTok from their app stores.
A Bytedance provided a statement from TikTok India, “We have faith in the Indian judicial system,” the company said. “And we are optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by over 120 million monthly active users in India.”
India is one of several nations across Asia adopting more draconian methods to regulate the internet.
Bytedance, which creates social and news reading apps, has most of its users and sales in China. But TikTok has exploded in popularity elsewhere, giving Bytedance more global reach than any other Chinese tech company. Investors have valued the closely held company at US$ 75 billion.