Bytedance Indian Market: TikTok owner is betting on these


TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance is reportedly betting big on two of its apps for the Indian market. According to a report in Economic Times, ByteDance is looking at its music streaming app Resso and ‘all-in-one’ productivity app Lark to forge ahead in the Indian market, three years after its flagship short-video app TikTok and others like Helo and CapCut were banned by the government.

Resso, which also operates in Brazil and Indonesia, counts India among its biggest markets. According to AppMagic, the app has over 125 million downloads in the country. “ByteDance and other Chinese companies are still very keen on working in the Indian market, despite some of their top apps being removed from app stores and banned,” David Curry, data editor at Business of Apps, told ET.
Earlier this year, ByteDance made Resso in India as a paid-only service. ByteDance’s global head of music business development, Ole Obermann had then said that this move is to make the service better for users while increasing benefits for artists. “Resso’s move to a premium-only service will allow the development of a better user experience for music fans, while increasing opportunities for rights holders and artists,” he said in a statement. Resso plans in India on Google Play Store are priced at Rs 99 per month and Rs 749 per year.

Lark productivity app includes chat, scheduling, docs, video conferencing, auto-translation and more in a single platform.
India is the world’s largest app market after China. Analysts see Bytedance’s renewed foray as the Beijing-headquartered company faces increased scrutiny and even a potential ban in its other large markets such as the US and Europe. Resso and Lark are said to be on the lower end of importance for ByteDance, contributing less than 5% to the company’s overall revenues in 2022. However, they are said to be crucial to ByteDance’s future as a technology company which is trying to reduce its dependency on TikTok and Douyin in China for revenue.
India banned TikTok and nearly 300 other Chinese apps in phases, starting from June 2020, over national security concerns. TikTok had more than 200 million users in India at the time and consider India its biggest overseas market. Since then, calls to ban TikTok have also surfaced elsewhere too.
The biggest beneficiary of the TikTok ban in India was Meta, which piloted its Instagram Reels in July 2020 and then launched it globally after massive success in India. Reels’ success in India was aided by the lack of competition from the Chinese app.

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