“India is a key market for ByteDance"
TikTok is apparently hoping to make a comeback in India.
India banned the Chinese short video-creating app in June 2020 due to concerns over user privacy and national security.
As a result of the ban implemented by the Indian government, TikTok lost an estimated 200 million users.
Now, it is reportedly trying to reclaim its Indian consumers.
According to The Print, TikTok’s parent firm ByteDance approached India’s IT ministry to negotiate in bringing the app back to India.
A source told The Print:
“ByteDance is definitely hopeful that the ban will be lifted and that operations in India can be resumed.
“India is a key market for ByteDance and no tech company can afford to not be in a country with 1.4 billion users.
“ByteDance is a global firm and pursuant [to] this, ByteDance has not even sought intervention of Chinese diplomats in discussions with the Indian government as the convention may be for Chinese companies.”
ByteDance also allegedly ensured the authorities that the company would fully comply with the new IT rules in place for social media platforms.
Despite TikTok’s comeback remaining unofficial, the app has already hired nodal and grievance officers in India.
They are also reportedly keen to collaborate with the Modi government in order to examine security.
Due to the political unrest between India and China as a result of border tensions, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok.
In a statement from June 30, 2021, TikTok India released a statement following the ban. Part of the statement reads:
“TikTok continues to comply with all data privacy and security requirements under Indian law and has not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign government, including the Chinese Government.”
In total, India prohibited more than 250 apps on multiple occasions.
However, many Chinese apps are trying to weave themselves back into the Indian market, and some have found success.
PUBG recently relaunched as Battlegrounds Mobile India after severing all ties to any Chinese stakeholders.
But the app is already facing backlash for allegedly disclosing user information to Chinese servers.
This could lead to the Indian government banning them again if they decide to investigate.
PUBG was developed by Korean company Krafton, which helped make its relaunch possible.
On the other hand, a Chinese company owns TikTok.
Therefore, they may find it tougher to get a place back in India’s consumer market.
As well as this, TikTok India’s CEO Nikhil Gandhi quit the company in May 2021. This could also prove problematic for the app’s Indian comeback.