TikTok company could lose Rs 45k crores due to Indian ban

2nd July 2020

2nd July 2020

Chinese internet company ByteDance - the parent of the TikTok and Helo apps - could lose up to $6 billion (Rs 45,000 crores) after the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps, Global Times reports.

The Indian Ministry of Information Technology on Sunday banned the 59 apps, claiming that they were "prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order."

A source close to ByteDance said that in the past few years, the company had invested more than $1 billion in the Indian market, and the ban could virtually halt ByteDance's business there, causing a loss as high as $6 billion. That figure would exceed the potential losses of all the other apps combined.

In terms of relevance, India’s deal for Rafale (36 jets) is almost equivalent. Given Global Times is under the control of Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the figure could be higher than $6 billion.

TikTok is a short video-sharing platform under ByteDance, and Helo is a social media platform the company released for the Indian market. Another app called Vigo Video, which is also on the list, is also from the company.

According to data from Sensor Twoer, a mobile app analysis company, TikTok was downloaded 112 million times in May, with 20 percent of that total in the Indian market, double that of the US market.

According to Reuters, the Indian government has told local telecom operators to block visits to the 59 apps. For apps that have already been downloaded, the telecom operators must find ways to block users from visiting them. TikTok and Helo are no longer available in Indian app stores, and already-downloaded TikTok apps don't display any content. 

In a statement, TikTok said that it is cooperating with the Indian government to block content, and the app will keep obeying local laws to protect users' privacy.

India has long been seen by Bytedance as one of the world's most important markets. In April 2019, the company said that it would invest $1 billion in the Indian market. In July the same year, the company released plans to build a data center in India.

According to public information, the company has hired more than 2,000 local employees.

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