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The app, from Beijing-based companyByteDance, has been variously accused of electoral interference and harmingchildren’s privacy


Complaints have also be made againstanother of the company’s apps, Helo, for running doctored pictures ofpoliticians with sensationalised text


Indian courts and political parties arecalling for Chinese company ByteDance’s most popular mobile app TikTok to bebanned.


On Tuesday, The Economic Times newspaperreported that India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology hadasked Google and Apple to pull video social media platform TikTok from itsmobile application stores. The South China Morning Post was unable toindependently verify the report.


Meanwhile, the Delhi state unit of India’sruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) complained to the country’s ElectionCommission on March 29 that ByteDance, which it identified as a Chinesecompany, was “interfering in the Indian election process through its socialmedia applications”.


The BJP cited Facebook’s takedown of 11,000advertisements from another of the company’s apps - Helo - for violation of itsrules concerning transparency in political spending. Helo’s adverts featureddoctored images of politicians accompanied by sensationalised text.

印度人民黨引用了臉書網撤下11,000則廣告的案例,指責該公司的應用“Helo”違反了該國有關政治開支透明化的 規定。Helo上的廣告的特點是使用被“加工”過的政客照片,配上敏感的文字。

Indian politicians banned for firebrandelection comments


ByteDance is the world’s largest internetstart-up – valued at US$75 billion in its latest funding round, knockingUS-based Uber, valued at US$72 billion, into second place.


According to mobile app intelligencecompany Sensor Tower, 88.6 million of TikTok’s 188 million new users in thefirst quarter of 2019 were from India – a more than eightfold year-on-yearincrease. By comparison, just 13.1 million new TikTok users over the same timeperiod were based in the US.

移動應用智能公司Sensor Tower表示,2019年第一季度TikTok的1.88億新用戶中,有8860萬用戶來自印度——同比增長超過8倍。相比之下,同期僅有1310萬美國人成為TikTok的新用戶。

TikTok was also the third most downloadedapp in the world during the first quarter of 2019. As of Tuesday, it was thesecond most popular free Android app in the Google Play store in India, whileHelo was ranked 11th. ByteDance also offers short video product Vigo Video toIndian users.

TikTok也是2019年第一季度全球應用程序下載量第三名。截至周二,它是印度區Google Play商店中第二大最受歡迎的免費安卓應用程序,而Helo排第11位。字節跳動公司還向印​​度用戶提供短視頻產品Vigo Video。

“Out of all the ads that have been generated from Helo since welaunched in June 2018, unique ads citing political mentions amount to less than0.1 per cent. These ads were all generated prior to the declaration of generalelections by the Election Commission of India and the enforcement of the ModelCode of Conduct,” said Helo in a statement.

Helo在一份聲明中說,“我們自2018年6月推出Helo以來生成的所有廣告中,提及政治的特別廣告占比不足0.1%。這些廣告都是在印度選舉委員會宣布大選和 《行為準則》生效之前生成的。“

The first major call to ban TikTok in Indiawas made in February by the Tamil Nadu government, citing obscenity as thereason.


However, responses from politiciansindicated that they were already annoyed at the political content beinggenerated by the app’s users, who had posted lip-synched videos to politicalspeeches.


“I will be the happiest if TikTok isbanned. They mock someone like me most on that platform. The app may have beendesigned to make people happy, but it is often crossing the limits of decency,”said Tamilisai Soundararajan, who heads the BJP – the party of Prime MinisterNarendra Modi – in Tamil Nadu state.

泰米爾賽奧·桑達拉(Tamilisai Soundararajan)是印度總理納爾德拉·莫迪(Narendra Modi)領導的人民黨在泰米爾納德邦的一把手。他表示,“如果TikTok被封禁,我將是最開心的那個人。他們在那個平臺上嘲弄像我這樣的人。這款應用程序設計的初衷可能是讓人們開心,但它常常越過了合理的界限”。

After Tamil Nadu banned TikTok on April 3,the app’s makers appealed to the Supreme Court of India, which refused tosuspend the ban immediately but will hear the matter again on April 22.


ByteDance did not immediately respond to arequest for comment.