Chinese app downloads fall amid border dispute

Popular Chinese apps TikTok, Helo, Bigo Live, Likee and PubG have seen downloads fall in India, one among their largest markets globally, because the border standoff between each the nations has amplified requires boycotting Chinese merchandise. According to sector consultants, manufacturers will stay cautious about promoting on these Chinese apps as they danger upsetting Indian prospects. However, the apps are anticipated to bounce again as soon as border tensions ease, possible bringing again manufacturers again onto the platforms, they stated.

“For now, downloading Chinese apps may seem like a grave thing to do but remember that public sentiment is fickle. Social media addiction is like cocaine. You may give it up in anger but then the itch comes back,” stated Santosh Pai, Partner at Link Legal, which advises Chinese shoppers on investments in India. Downloads of reside streaming app Bigo Live, short-video app Likee, and gaming app PubG fell in June, whereas ByteDance-owned TikTok and Helo noticed downloads decline from April, based on the information shared by trade tracker SensorTower.

AppAprilMayJune 1 to 22
Bigo Live2,500,0002,600,0001,800,000
Helo16,600,00014,900,0009,200,000
Likee6,700,0007,000,0004,300,000
PUBG Mobile9,900,00012,200,0006,600,000
TikTok23,500,00022,400,00013,900,000

Source: Sensor Tower (Google + Apple app shops)


TikTok downloads fell 5% from April to May, and 38% from May to June 22. Helo, an India-specific regional social media app, witnessed a 10% fall in May and 38% from May till June 22, the information confirmed. “Relations with China are strained but these ups and downs happen. The removal of Chinese apps will be a temporary reaction and the drop in advertising will also be a temporary blip. There is no other app like Tik Tok today and, eventually, this will settle down,” stated Sumanto Chattopadhyay, chairman and chief artistic officer (CCO ) of 82.5 Communications, a artistic company.

Boycott calls have been rising since March when the Covid-19 virus outbreak, which originated in China, began spreading in India. The public notion of Chinese apps as propagating lascivious, hateful and anti-India content material has additionally solely grown over the past yr regardless of makes an attempt by ByteDance to alter the narrative. Chinese web corporations are estimated to have about 300 million distinctive customers in India, which suggests two-thirds of the about 450 million smartphone customers in India use no less than one Chinese app. Chinese and American corporations are battling to dominate the Indian market because the nation stays one of the open and the final giant web markets on the earth.

“Brands need not be altruistic and need not be compelled to offer social commentary. If they feel customer anger is coming in the way for selling, then they will switch to other platforms as necessary,” stated Karthik Srinivasan, an unbiased communications marketing consultant and former nationwide lead, social, at Ogilvy. “It is totally quick time period. I’d additionally count on TikTok to go aggressive on gives, tie-ups, and incentives to deliver individuals again.”



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Tarun Banerjee

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