Indian Content Startups Feel The Heat: China’s Helo, TikTok Gain Traction As SJM Bats For Their Ban

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Indian content startups, which initially attracted millions of dollars from early-stage investors, are slowly losing sheen due to increasing competition from Chinese firms with large budgets and better technology, reports Mint.

Beijing-based Bytedance Ltd launched two of its hugely popular, Helo and short-video platform TikTok in 2018. Soon they went viral and according to an analysis by Economic Times (ET), TikTok had garnered over 100 million downloads (November 2018) and 20 million monthly active users in India within months.

On the other hand, Indian content startups like Sharechat, local-language news aggregator Dailyhunt and literature platform Pratilipi, witnessed slower growth rates.

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In the last three months of 2018 (October-December), the number of daily active users (DAUs) stagnated at 5 million for Sharechat.

“Besides huge budgets, these Chinese apps know how to use technology and artificial intelligence better than anyone else in the world, including Google and Facebook. With their scale and ability to predict and provide personalised content, their sheer deep-tech expertise gives them an edge,” said Anand Lunia, managing partner, India Quotient to Mint.

SJM Wants A Ban On Chinese Apps

Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), affiliated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's had earlier written to the Prime Minister asking a ban on Chinese social media apps.

“We also need to ensure that Indian startups are not hurt by such Chinese companies which are flush with cash and would harm the Indian startup ecosystem, our data sovereignty and, most importantly, our security,” the organisation said.

Also Read: India-US And Pakistan-China: The Dynamics That Matter Post Pulwama

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