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TikTok adds 88.6 million new Indian users to the app in Q1 2019: Report


Despite being in the spotlight for its content, which is often deemed ‘inappropriate’, social media app TikTok has reportedly gained 88.6 million new users in India alone in the first quarter of 2019.

According to the report by Sensor Tower, a mobile app intelligence firm, this gain is 8.2 times more compared to the increase in subscriber seen in Q1 2018 in India. On the other hand, overall, TikTok gained 110 million new users who downloaded and installed the app.

Interestingly, the report also points out that Android was the dominant platform for TikTok with 99 percent of TikTok downloads coming from Google Play Store.

TikTok app seen on a mobile phone screen. Image: Reuters.

This report comes days after the Madras High Court directed central government earlier this month to place a ban on the download of the TikTok app. The court also prohibited the media from telecasting videos made from the mobile app.

Why has Madras High Court ordered a ban on download of @TikTokIndia app? Is it fair? What is #TikTok doing about it? @Nandiniwhy has all these answers. @tiktok_us

— Tech2 (@tech2eets) April 4, 2019

This order followed a petition in the court that sought a ban on the mobile app owing to the alleged ‘inappropriate content’ including pornography, that it carries, which is available for access to children. The petitioner said children who used the app would become vulnerable and exposed to sexual predators.

Some call it annoying, some consider it their favourite app, but the Madras HC thinks its harmful and has decided to ban it. We’re talking about TikTok , which the HC believes is “spoiling the mindset” of children and exposing them to sexual predators.

— Tech2 (@tech2eets) April 4, 2019

Bytedance (@tiktok_us’s parent company) has filed a request to the Supreme Court of India against the app’s ban, arguing that the flagged inappropriate content was only a tiny proportion of its content and it could not be held liable for its user-content.

— Tech2 (@tech2eets) April 11, 2019

To this TikTok, however, responded saying, “At TikTok, we are committed to abiding by local laws and regulations. We fully comply with the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011. We are currently awaiting the official order by the Honourable High Court of Madras and once received, we will review and take appropriate action regarding this matter. Maintaining a safe and positive in-app environment at TikTok is our priority. We have robust measures to protect users against misuse, protect their privacy and digital wellbeing. This includes easy reporting mechanisms that enable users and law enforcement to report content that violates our terms of use and comprehensive Community Guidelines. In order to better coordinate with law enforcement agencies, we have appointed a Chief Nodal Officer based out of India.”

The matter will next be heard on 16 April.

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