Short-video site TikTok expresses ‘confidence’ as it faces judicial ban in India

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/16 20:58:40

An advertisement for TikTok is seen in Shanghai in August. Photo: VCG





Chinese short-video platform TikTok on Tuesday expressed confidence in India's judicial system, after India's Supreme Court refused to stay a lower court order to ban the Chinese app from the Indian market.

"We have faith in the Indian judicial system and we are optimistic about an outcome that would allow over 120 million monthly active users in India to continue using TikTok," a spokesperson for the company told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The person added that TikTok has been continuously improving existing measures, using technical means and content review processes to improve the experience of Indian users. 

India's Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the order passed by the Madurai bench of the Madras High court over the ban of TikTok and scheduled a hearing for the case for April 22, according to Indian media reports.

Following the decision, the Indian government asked Google and Apple to remove the popular app from their app stores, India's Economic Times reported on Tuesday.

A court in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in early April asked the government to ban Tik Tok, saying it encouraged pornography and made children vulnerable to sexual predators, according to Reuters.

"A ban amounts to curtailing of the rights of the citizens of India...who have been using the platform every day to express themselves and create content," the spokesperson said, citing a previous filing to the Indian court. 

The TikTok spokesperson said that TikTok India has removed more than 6 million videos that violate user agreements and community guidelines. 

According to mobile app store marketing intelligence institution Sensor Tower, TikTok was downloaded 32.3 million times in India last year, up 25 times from 2017. The number accounted for 27 percent of the app's worldwide downloads, Sensor Tower added. 

The legal hurdles TikTok faces in India also reflect a common issue that domestic internet start-ups struggle with in overseas expansion, where regulations and laws may be different from China and sometimes call for even stricter supervision mechanisms, industry insiders said.

"Chinese start-ups could leverage their advantages in technology to strengthen supervision over the content," Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based independent industry analyst, told the Global Times. 

For example, app developers could devise a rating system that displays different content to different age groups to avoid showing violent videos to children. They can also implement a protection system for juveniles in overseas markets, preventing children from spending too much time on the internet or accessing improper videos, Liu said. 



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