The ban on the Chinese tech giant Bytedance’s social media app TikTok has cost the app nearly 15 million users in India after Google and Apple removed it from their respective app stores following a directive from the Supreme Court.
With over 600 million internet users, India is largest market for TikTok. According to a study by Sensor Tower, the removal of the app for nearly two weeks put a significant blow to the app’s user growth in India, bringing to a halt to what has been the app’s best month yet in the country.
‘Based on historical performance and our projections, we estimate that TikTok missed out on more than 15 million first-time users in India across both stores during the period the ban was in effect, or about three times as many as the app added in all of April 2018, the study revealed.
Sensor Tower now expects worldwide TikTok installs for April to come in about 33 per cent under March’s total of nearly 60 million as the result of the ban. Before the ban, TikTok was tracking to surpass 33 million new users there in April, which would have surmounted December 2018 as its best month yet in the market.
In April, Madras High Court issued ban on the app after a petition was filed alleging the social platform promotes pornography, child abuse, and suicide.
The TikTok app has over 54 million monthly active users in India and has been downloaded over one billion times. The app has been severely criticised in India by social activists for degrading the culture of the Indian society.
After the ban has been lifted, TikTok quickly returned to the top 10 on India’s App Store. The app currently ranks No. 1 in the Photo and Video category and No. 6 overall. The app has Google Play standing of 131 overall and is rising fast.