Google has blocked access to the hugely popular video app TikTok in India to comply with a Madras High Court’s directive to prohibit its downloads, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

The move comes hours after the Madras HC refused a request by China`s Bytedance Technology to suspend a ban on its TikTok app, putting its future in one of its key markets in doubt.

The court had on April 3 asked the Centre to ban TikTok, saying it encouraged pornography and made child users vulnerable to sexual predators. Its ruling came after an individual launched a public interest litigation calling for a ban.

The Centre had sent a letter to Apple and Google to abide by the state court`s order, according to an IT ministry official. The app was still available on Apple`s platforms late on Tuesday, but was no longer available on Google`s Play store in India.

Google said in a statement it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws. Apple did not respond to requests for comment, while TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Google`s move.

TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, has become hugely popular in India but has been criticised by some politicians who say its content is inappropriate.


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