Following a verdict from a court in southern Tamil Nadu state to ban popular social app TikTok in India, people are not completely out of options to download the controversial app. After the official listing of TikTok app on Google Play Store and Apple App Store was blocked in India on Wednesday, users who are willing to go extra lengths to download TikTok were not met with disappointment.
Firstly, the ban doesn't seize TikTok from functioning, which means users who already had the app can continue to use it, which means 240 million users are unaffected by the ban. Complying to the court's order resulted in Google and Apple removing the app from the official app store, whereas users can still get the app from third-party websites. It's worth pointing out that sideloading an app from a third-party website is only available on Android devices while iOS users will have to wait until the ban is officially lifted.
That said, Android users can find plenty of sources hosting the TikTok APK file. The most trusted sites to find the right APK for TikTok are APK Mirror and Apkpure. Users can visit the trusted sites, download TikTok APK by following the site's instructions and then transfer the file to the phone via USB connection. Users must then go to the location where the APK file is stored and tap on it to install. This way users can successfully run TikTok on their phones and start using it by logging in with your username and password.
Should you download TikTok?
Simply because you can download TikTok doesn't mean users must go right ahead. There's a good reason why the TN court ordered a ban on the viral app. TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, is hugely popular in India but received a lot of criticism for encouraging pornography and exposing children to sexual predators.
"Banning the app is completely out of sync with today's time. Even if the app is banned, people can still download them from other sources or by changing their location. We are not understanding the bigger challenge of how to deal with the paradigm. The problem is not with the app but third-party content. Strict action needs to be taken against people publishing such content instead of asking for a blanket ban on apps," Pavan Duggal, leading cyber law expert, told Live Mint.
Besides the moral reason, downloading TikTok from a third-party source is not recommended. In many cases, this can result in a bait used by hackers to lure users - something that is vetted by Google or Apple before letting the app on respective app stores.
TikTok's fate in India looks bleak right now, but its owner ByteDance is confident the ban isn't permanent. The next court hearing is scheduled for April 24.
"We welcome the decision of the Madras High Court to appoint Arvind Datar as Amicus Curae (independent counsel) to the court. We have faith in the Indian judicial system and we are optimistic about an outcome," the company spokesperson said.