An Indian court on Tuesday refused a request by China's Bytedance Technology to suspend a ban on its popular video app TikTok, a lawyer involved in the case said, putting the app's future in one of its key markets in doubt.
While the app is now not available to download on the Google Play Store, existing users can still use it.
The Madras High Court had, in an ex-parte order, prohibited the download and use of the popular mobile video-sharing app. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said that it is keeping the issue open for further adjudication and would consider it on April 22. The court had directed the centre to ban it over concerns about access to pornographic content through it.
Google, in an email response to Business Standard, said it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws.
The Chennai case was launched by an activist group which said the app encouraged paedophiles and pornography.
The Madras High Court is scheduled to hear the case on Tuesday, April 16 on the issue of ad-interim orders and pass orders or directions accordingly.
TikTok also argues that its platform is merely an intermediary under the Information Technology Act and can not be held liable for the actions of third party users on the platform.
In its Supreme Court filing, Bytedance argued that a "very minuscule" proportion of TikTok content was considered inappropriate or obscene.
"The said ban, if not lifted immediately, shall cause severe prejudice and irreparable harm to the Petitioner Company and result in competitors gaining a significant and potentially irreversible advantage over the petitioner company".