TikTok`s Indian alternative Chingari app crosses over 3 million downloads

Brenda Watkins
July 1, 2020

The short-video platform TikTok has become China's latest homegrown technology company to run into growing resistance from foreign governments wary of perceived ties to Beijing and concerned about protecting user data. Ltd. is now grappling with growing animosity from the USA government, which in May strengthened a 2019 tech export restriction that made it harder for the company to access US technology.

In an official statement, Tik Tok India head Nikhil Gandhi said, "The government of India has issued an interim order for the blocking of 59 apps, including TikTok and we are in the process of complying with it".

Yes, this has happened before and this is not the first time an app has been banned in India.

"The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures", the press release said. In the quarter that would end Tuesday, the 59 apps that India has ordered to ban were installed about 330 million times, the firm said.

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Perhaps the most popular app that was on the ban list, however, was TikTok, which over the last two years has managed to gain a strong user base amongst young Indians and spawned a creative content production ecosystem along the lines of YouTube. Chinese casualties from the clash were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, TikTok has said that it is in the process of complying with the government's order of banning the app and asserted that it has not shared information of Indian users with any foreign government, including that of China.

Apart from the impact of the Chinese app business, it is important to note numerous apps that are a part of this list have offices in India that employed thousands of employees and apps like TikTok financially supported many Indian creators. The app's servers are no longer active, and VPNs don't seem to be working for everyone to circumvent the ban. China-based brands hold nearly 80% of the country's handset market, according to Navkendar Singh, an analyst at consultancy IDC.

Flynn Murphy and Qian Tong contributed to the report.

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