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SC hearing on TikTok: Why it is difficult to ban the app in India

Apple and Google have already blocked the download of the app from Play Store and App Store respectively

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In        Last Updated: April 22, 2019  | 18:21 IST
SC hearing on TikTok: Why it is difficult to ban the app in India
TikTok ban

TikTok, a new short form video app, is in the midst of controversy in India after Madras High Court asked the Centre to ban the app for "encouraging pornography". Apple and Google have already blocked the download of the app from Play Store and App Store respectively. However, banning or blocking of the apps like TikTok or PUBG, is a futile exercise in the 21st century. People will always find a way to get around the ban.

TikTok has over 5.4 crore monthly users in India and any of them can share the app with others through the file sharing apps like ShareIt. Once the app is shared, the user can install the app and start using TikTok. But, is there a way out if you don't know anyone who has TikTok installed?

Although the TikTok app is not available on Play Store and Apple App Store, there are several alternate sources that can be accessed via a simple Google search. Android is a customisable platform and allows apps to be downloaded from the 'unknown sources'. These apps can also be malicious and could harm the phone, and therefore it is not advisable to install applications on your phones that do not originate from a verified source. However, several third-party app stores like APKMirror and APKPure have TikTok listed on their sites and allow the safe download of the app.

For the Apple iOS users, the road isn't that easy. Apple doesn't allow third-party downloads, however you can always Jailbreak and break free from Apple's grip. Jailbreak refers to the process of gaining root access to the iOS operating system that runs on Apple devices.

Another way of downloading the app is to use VPN (virtual private network) services. Using any VPN app you can easily switch your geographical location and change IP address to get past any restriction. First, reset the Play Store app and then clear cache and data. This will allow Play Store to pick the new country as your location, and once connected, you can download TikTok easily. If Play Store doesn't pick the new location automatically, then you'll have to update it manually. To do so, tap "Account," and select "Country and Profiles." Here you'll see both your default country and the new country you have selected via VPN service. Tap and confirm the change.

TikTok was the fourth most downloaded app in 2018 and it reached a billion download mark in February. TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Co.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court has directed the Madras High Court to pass the verdict on TikTok petition against the ban by April 24. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that if the High Court fails to pass the judgement then it will vacate the ban on the video app.

Edited By: Udit Verma

Also Read: Despite TikTok ban, parent Bytedance plans $1 billion investment in India

Also Read: TikTok ban: Madras High Court asks Centre to ban app for 'encouraging pornography'

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