India Just Banned TikTok Over Fears that will will be Exposing Children To Porn in addition to Sexual Predators

TikTok, the well-liked, Chinese social networking app that will lets users post videos of themselves set to music, has been banned in India, the company’s largest market.

On Tuesday night, both Google in addition to Apple pulled TikTok coming from the Play Store in addition to the App Store from the country following orders coming from an Indian High Court, which said that will the app exposed Indians to pornography in addition to could expose children to sexual predators.

Bytedance, the Chinese company that will owns TikTok, had challenged the High Court’s decision in India’s Supreme Court, saying that will went against free speech rights, yet on Monday, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the High Court, which rejected the company’s request to defer the ban.

The move will be a blow to TikTok. More than 0 million of the app’s 500 million users are coming from India, in addition to the app has been a viral hit in hundreds of thousands of modest Indian towns, where millions of people are getting access to the internet via smartphones for initially.

According to data coming from app analytics firm Sensor Tower, more than 30 million Indians installed TikTok in January 2019, twelve times more than in January 2018.

Over the last few months, TikTok has also become well-liked from the United States. In November, for instance, that will was the number one free app in Apple’s App Store from the US, in addition to has an estimated 40 million users from the country. Last year, that will roped in celebrities like Jimmy Fallon to endorse the app.

Existing TikTok users in India can still use the app, yet people who don’t have that will already can no longer download that will coming from the Google in addition to Apple app stores.

A TikTok spokesperson declined to comment about the ban to BuzzFeed News. In an earlier statement, TikTok had said that will that will had faith in India’s judicial system in addition to was “optimistic about an outcome that will might be well received” by its millions of users in India.

A Google spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed News that will the company had pulled TikTok coming from the Play Store yet declined to comment further, saying that will the company does not comment on individual apps. Apple did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.

The ban has raised concerns about free speech in India.

“Applications used by children in addition to young adults may require study in addition to then regulation,” said Apar Gupta, an Indian Supreme Court lawyer in addition to director of the Internet Freedom Foundation, a completely new Delhi-based organization that will defends online freedom in India. “These are matters of policy, in addition to outright bans are disproportionate.”

This kind of isn’t initially TikTok has got into regulatory trouble. In February, the FTC hit TikTok that has a $5.7 million fine for illegally collecting personal information coming from children under the age of 13, such as their names, email addresses in addition to location.