Apps

India’s Chinese App Ban Seen Jolting $1 Billion Expansion of TikTok Parent ByteDance

India's Chinese App Ban Seen Jolting $1 Billion Expansion of TikTok Parent ByteDance

An Indian ban on dozens of Chinese apps following an outskirt clash between the two nations has possibly crashed a $1 billion India expansion plan of China’s ByteDance, while also sparking a mayhem from users of its mainstream TikTok video app.

TikTok was expelled from Google and Apple app stores in India after New Delhi said on Monday night it was among the 59 apps which it accepted posed a “danger to sovereignty and trustworthiness.”

India's Chinese App Ban Seen Jolting $1 Billion Expansion of TikTok Parent ByteDance

The administration request didn’t name China, or refer to the outskirt clashes. App analytics firm Sensor Tower said all the 59 apps named were of Chinese source, including Tencent’s WeChat and Alibaba’s UC Browser.

“In the event that this is not moved back, these companies would be constrained to decrease their operations in India, conceivably resulting in a loss of business,” said a legal advisor who advises a Chinese organization whose app has been banned in India.

China’s outside ministry said it was “strongly worried” about India’s decision, including that India had a “responsibility to maintain the genuine legitimate rights of investors including the Chinese companies.”

The biggest casualty of the move appears to be ByteDance, which has since last year recruited several senior executives and spread out plans to invest $1 billion (generally Rs. 7,551 croes) in India. India is TikTok’s top development market and accounts for 30 percent of its 2 billion downloads around the world.

TikTok said in a statement the Indian government had welcomed the organization to respond to the ban and submit clarifications, including that it complies with all information security and protection requirements.

It didn’t remark on the destiny of its expansion plan.

‘How will i live now’

Following the ban request, numerous TikTok users posted videos expressing their displeasure with the ban.

One user @omkarsharma988 posted a video in which he throws utensils to the ground, hits a seat and weeps, with a Hindi song playing “You’ve left me, how will I live now?” The video had been preferred 218,000 times, as the app still functions on phones on which it is as of now downloaded.

When TikTok was banned quickly last year after a state court said the app energized erotic entertainment, the organization told the Supreme Court the ban cost it generally $15 million (generally Rs. 113 crores) a month.

Several Indian lawyers said chances of a success through a legitimate test this time were slim given the administration had summoned national security concerns, which means the Chinese companies can dare to dream to campaign India to reverse the decision.

“From a lawful perspective it (the ban) is sound because grounds like national security are hard to challenge,” said Santosh Pai of Link Legal, which advises Chinese companies.

The ban has also left Tencent disappointed, which has apps available and is also a significant investor in Indian startups, two sources mindful of the organization’s concerns told Reuters. New Delhi in April commanded screening of approaching investments from countries like China, hitting the likes of Tencent.

While its WeChat messaging app is not that well known in India, the organization fears the legislature could impose a ban later on the portable version of its blockbuster game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, said one of the sources. Tencent declined to remark.

Two games of China-based firms, Mobile Legends and Clash of Kings, were among those banned on Monday.

Sensor Tower said the 59 banned apps recorded generally 4.9 billion downloads in India since January 2014.

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