Jokes, clips and footage related to India's thriving movie industry dominate the app's platform, along with memes and videos in which youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-sync and dance to popular music.
TikTok is touted to be one of the fastest-growing apps with vast markets like India driving its growth, contributing 88.6 million new users to the platform over the last three months, per reports. TikTok also claimed that the ex-parte order of Madras HC is arbitrary and illegal, as the ban on the download and use of the app not only curtails its right to freedom of speech and expression but will also lead to financial loss as well as a loss of jobs.
It did not comment on MeitY's direction to Apple and Google. The matter was then taken to the Supreme Court, which refused to stay the order on the grounds that the matter was still sub-judice and that it would hear the matter on 22 April.
The matter is also listed for hearing before the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday (April 16).
While Apple and Google are yet to comment on the directive, TikTok said in a statement: "We are committed to continuously enhancing our existing measures and introducing additional technical and moderation processes as a part of our ongoing commitment to our users in India". In India, the app has been cited for "encouraging pornography".
The order issued by the ministry will help stop further download of the application, but users who have already downloaded it will be able to continue using it on their smartphones, The Economic Times reported, quoting sources.
TikTok earlier said in a statement that it had faith in the Indian judicial system and was "optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by millions" of its users.
In its court filing, ByteDance argued that a "very minuscule" proportion of TikTok content was considered inappropriate or obscene. "Now it is up to the companies to do it or appeal the order". TikTok has argued that it is not responsible for the kind of content that third-parties upload.