TikTok is back in play on Google, Apple app stores

CHENNAI: Short-video application TikTok was back on Google Play Store and Apple App Store on Tuesday, a week after the Madras High Court lifted a stay on downloads of the popular Chinese app taking into account the safety features incorporated by its owner Beijing ByteDance Technology Co.

The court said that, while it was concerned about several incidents of women and children using cyberspace and becoming victims, it was “also aware of the fact that the millions of users are denied their rights to have access to the said platform which also promises several good things.”

“Though it is admitted that this possible mischief and irreparable damage that may be caused to innocent children and women cannot be ruled out, taking note of the safety features projected by the 9th respondent (Bytedance India) … the interim order granted by this Court on 03.04.2019 is vacated,” the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court said in a written order, a copy of which is with ET. The court passed an oral order in this regard on April 24.


The order follows several safety measures that the company said it would take to filter inappropriate or obscene content. Some of these measures, cited in the court order, include an age-gate that permits only teenagers or a higher age group to access the platform, disabling the download of a video by other users and blocking problematic terms from the app’s search function.

TikTok users create short videos set to music, often lip-syncing, dancing or acting out skits.

“Over a period of time, we have introduced 13 industry-leading safety features that ensure a safe and positive in-app environment for our users. We are looking forward to introducing more relevant features and initiatives to help Indian users be safe and continue to enhance their experience with Tik-Tok,” said Helena Lersch, Director, Global Public Policy at TikTok. TikTok said earlier that the ban on fresh downloads was causing losses of up to $500,000 a day and put at risk more than 250 jobs. It also said it had removed from its platform six million videos, the contents of which were doubtful.


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