April 24, 2019
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An Indian state court on Wednesday moved to lift a ban on popular video app TikTok in the country, two lawyers involved in the case said, in a boost for its developer Beijing Bytedance Technology Co.
Earlier this month, the court in the southern state of Tamil Nadu ordered the federal government to prohibit TikTok downloads, saying the app was encouraging pornography.
Acting upon instructions from the federal IT ministry, Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google last week removed TikTok from their Indian app stores.
But on Wednesday, hearing a plea from Bytedance, the state court reversed its April 3 decision pushing for the ban, the lawyers said.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the IT ministry would revoke its instructions to Apple and Google.
TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with special effects and is one of the world’s most popular apps. It has been downloaded by nearly 300 million users so far in India, out of more than 1 billion downloads globally, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.
The ban worried the social media industry in India as it sees legal worries mounting if courts increasingly regulate content on their platforms.
(Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Sudarshan Varadhan; Edited by Martin Howell and Mark Potter)