TikTok ban in India opens opportunities for local apps

An escalating border dispute between China and India and the TikTok ban in India, is driving the usage of local Indian social media up. Some companies have reported numbers as high as 15 million within a period of 48 hours.

A border dispute between India and China has put the two countries at loggerheads in the past few weeks. This led to an all-out battle between the country last month that resulted in casualties for both countries, with India recording 20 dead and China having 43 casualties.

The escalation has led to India reevaluating their trade with China and instituting economic pressure. To protect the sovereignty and integrity of India, they also analyzed security risks from China-based applications, which they deemed, can be used to undermine democracy in the country.

TikTok Ban in India

The Indan government banned 59 apps including video-sharing app TikTok, which has over 120 million users from India.

The affected users have had to look for new alternatives and local social networking sites have benefited the most. India, with a population of over 1.3 billion people, provides a big market for developers and internet entrepreneurs to invest. The local sites, however, have had challenges in getting their products to be accepted in the country, facing stiff competition from China.

Growth of alternatives

Firms that have benefited immensely from the TikTok ban in India are Sharechat and Roposo, which have seen their user bases grow in millions in the last few days after the ban. Sharechat, in a statement, said that in the past 48 hours, they had recorded over 15 million new users, which pushed the number of registered users in their platform to over 150 million.

Berges Malu, public policy director for ShareChat said the company welcomed the move by the Indian government to ban Chinese apps in the country. He pointed out that Chinese platforms have had issues with privacy and cybersecurity, which may compromise India’s national security.

Roposo video app has also benefited from the TikTok ban in India, recording over 10 million new users in the last few days. According to the CEO of InMobi that owns the app, the rise brought the total number of users to over 75 million. Are we looking at another way to reach and teach students in rural places in India?

 

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