Is the clock ticking for Tiktok? Tiktok is one of the world’s most appreciated applications of all time. Indian government’s ban on downloading Tiktok has up-raised the tech industry’s worries. They worry that technology companies might face increased inspection. Along with regulatory challenges in one of their most important markets.
Tiktok app, which allows its users to create and share videos with special effects and music, has become quite a sensation in India. It has been installed by 300 million users so far alone in the country itself out of more than 1 billion installs globally. However, Its increasing popularity has attracted criticism from some of the Indian politicians. In a largely conservative society like India, this can have a low boiling point even for moderately racy content.
In the case of Tiktok, the 15-seconds dance clips and some musical memes highly dominate the platform. Some videos also show teenagers lip-syncing and grooving to the popular tunes. According to Local Media, there have been reported several accidental deaths when users tried to create a video with a knife or a gun.
Earlier this month, Tiktok disappeared from Google and Apple’s app stores in India. The shocking takedown of such a famous app came after the Madras High Court filed a complaint to the Supreme Court saying the app encouraged pornography and asked the government to halt its downloads. Following this, the Federal IT ministry issued a follow-up directive to Google and Apple. If you want to know more about this issue, visit the article ‘Tiktok banned in India‘ on our website.
India’s ban on this Chinese video app is resulting in financial losses of up to USD 500,000 per day for its developer ByteDance. The loss includes the destruction in the values of its investments. Loss of commercial revenues and has put more than 250 jobs at risk as stated by the company officials. The developments have experienced a strong blow to India’s growth plans of ByteDance. ByteDance is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. It is one of the world’s most valuable startup worth around USD 75 billion. The company was considering a public listing this year in Hongkong.
Even the social media industry in India is worried about the ban. As it sees legal worries arising if courts regulate content on their platforms. In the complaint made to India’s Supreme Court, ByteDance requested the court to end the ban. And direct the federal IT ministry to tell Google and Apple to make the app available to download again on their platforms.
Tiktok is reportedly not the first social media company to indulge in trouble in India. Facebook and its messenger app, WhatsApp, which count India as one of their biggest markets, have been under high pressure. From the Indian authorities to tackle fake news and keep track of the content on their platforms. Likewise, the online video streaming platform Netflix was dragged into a legal conflict last year. It was because of a complaint that said one of its fictional series insulted a former Indian prime minister.
But industry executives said the verdict against Tiktok was particularly worrisome. Given that it started from a public interest complaint brought by an individual in Tamil Nadu. Opening their digital content to judicial surveillance could degrade their India strategy overnight.
India is a crucial market for social media platforms and mobile digital content companies. As the country is witnessing a sharp growth in the use of smartphones. An estimated half-a-million people now have access to the Internet in India.
A Singapore-based live video streaming app, developed by Bigo has also been expanding in India. TikTok’s owner Bytedance also runs another social app named Helo, which enables users to share content in their local languages.
The main reason why Tiktok downloaded was halted in India is because of the rise of sexual predators. There are dozens of videos online. They show young generations shooting Tiktok videos in their smartphones at a famous Mumbai walkway. While some youngsters danced and lip-synced to popular tunes, the others used teddy bears as props.
The Tamil Nadu court and the Madras High Court, which files a complaint against Tiktok, said the dangerous aspect of this app was its inappropriate content. And the app could lead the children to sexual predators out there. However, the ban doesn’t apply to people who already have the app downloaded.
The Chinese company ByteDance had an unsuccessful argument with the Supreme Court stating that the ban amounts to down-sizing of the free speech rights of India. The company said in its Supreme Court filing that a very tiny portion of Tiktok videos was reported inappropriate. The company further added it was originally an entertainment platform. The argument couldn’t win over the app’s critics though.
CONCLUSION: India has attracted many foreign tech companies. And has become a crucial market for social media platforms to thrive in. But the latest scenario has created a sense of terror for those tech companies. In the case of Tiktok, a small issue brought upon such a catastrophe for them. The primary reason why other social media companies are having second thoughts when it comes to India.