About a year ago, there were around 100 top apps out of which only 18 mobile apps were available on the Google Play store in India, and only two apps were at the top 10 list. As per Shadma Shaik who mentioned recently that the numbers, however, had doubled now.
One of the popular and short video hosting platform commonly known as TikTok has already considered India as its largest market place. In India, the TikTok has around 39% of its users out of 500 million global customers. TikTok is not only the app that is widely used by the users, but YouTube is also much popular and one of the potential killer in India. There are other live streaming apps like the LiveMe and BigoLive which are the top competitors for the top video app position in India.
Indian market is now dominated by Chinese mobile apps slowly and steadily which is much far away from the current noise about the telecom and e-commerce sector. Shortly, the various Chinese apps will have added enough data and understanding about the future billion Indian internet users which is still unknown by platforms like Facebook and Google.
Why should it be a concern? China expects to control the Artificial Intelligence [AI] world and wants fast moving of its transaction to become a world-class future from being the office of the world for smart machines that imitate the human mind. By collecting more information and sending them all to the machines will help to learn quickly and in depth and it is the core value for AI dominance.
TikTok and BigoLive which are mainly the consumer mobile apps, both have maintained huge involvement with users which obtains hundreds of millions of information sets, these sets have been fed every day into China’s big data arsenal. Whereas India may maintain its position of world’s battlefield for capturing the future billion users, the final battlefront will be mostly with the American and Chinese internet companies; both are trying to overcome the final battle. Even though two biggest e-commerce companies of India namely Flipkart which is acquired by Walmart and Amazon both are US ventures.
Let us examine at the Chinese app factories and how are they putting their private playbook altogether. It is all about inciting the boundaries, frequent concentration over the vernacular market and executive whatever is needed to make it go viral. For example, Kwai is a breeding floor for child pronography. This app motivates users particularly the minor girls to perform cheap gestures and lip synchronization to vulgar songs and perform other things.
To gain virality, the Chinese based apps are starting to publish the dangers of launching soft porn content. Consider LiveMe for example, after the Fox11 news channel report in Los Angeles stating nearly 600,000 accounts related to children below 13 years were deleted which talked about the dangers of abusing children through pedophiles.
Indeed these apps are well designed by technology and user interfaces. For Instance, consider ByteDance which has designed and launched the Helo app, the Helo app is an entertainment based content platform specially developed for India. You might not have heard about the app just because the app is focusing on small towns, first-time users and vernacular users. The Helo app is still not available in English. The app is currently available in 14 regional languages of India along with Marathi, Hindi, Bhojpuri, and Gujarati.
The tactic is paying off. The Indian market is the main center for other Chinese apps as well. Another social media app SHAREit assumes that if they don’t find scope for the app in the market, then it’s time to shut it down in India. They have observed the market of India very closely for almost years, and they have eventually learned from their mistakes and failures too. Wechat another app even failed to attract users and can be a case study for another new Chinese app to learn as what should be done.
And then, India has its domestic social media app Sharechat, it was launched in 2015, and there are around 50 million downloads. Sharechat showed how tech professionals and the first time internet users basically of India’s tire 2 and tire 3 towns could be tracked with vernacular content. ByteDance’s Helo which is a Chinese app has been quick enough to learn from its competitor Sharechat’s playbook.
Apart from this, the United States is actually outlining to cool down China’s investment in the Silicon Valley by moving the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act [FIRMA] which is passed along with the Congress during August.
Many investors and startup founders are speaking in silent tones about the fact that India needs to look at similar strategies. Eventually, the interests are high. Meanwhile, Chinese companies have made investments of more than $2billion for startups in India during 2017.
At the same time, the love and hate affair of India with China is already keeping pace with the emerging startup ecosystem of the country. Investors and startup founders in India have already started facing the heat from the government scrutiny, which is frequently trapped in the middle of the Doklam like conflicts.
The board member of one of the top Indian startup which is supported by Chinese fund determined to withdraw due to rising confusions. The 2019 year is going to be all about economic nationalism, he stated. And I don’t want to be seen on the other side.