TikTok's doom equals boom for Indian-made apps . . .
India’s ban of 59 Chinese apps, particularly TikTok, the world’s most popular video-streaming app, has boosted Indian tech startup apps that were until now struggling to compete in the market. Since the nationwide ban, the competitive landscape has changed dramatically, offering Indian startups the opportunity to gain traction. Bengaluru-based tech startup Roposo, which offers a video streaming service similar to TikTok, saw a surge in its subscriptions after the ban, peaking at 500,000 new sign-ups every hour. Roposo expects to reach the 100-million mark by the end of the month. Other Indian apps like Chingari, Mitron, Bolo Indya, and Moj are also rising in subscription numbers. Unlike TikTok, which has been in hot water over privacy issues, Indian-made apps are marketed as more secure, with data being stored domestically, and as having more appropriate content for India’s relatively conservative society.
Google investing C$13.5B in India’s digital economy . . .
Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced this week that his company would invest C$13.5 billion in India’s digital economy over the next five to seven years, making this Google’s biggest investment in an emerging growth market. Through a combination of equity investments and partnerships, Google aims to make the internet accessible for about 500 million people who are yet to become active users by offering services in local languages, in addition to English. The investments would also focus on the growth of Indian tech startups, artificial intelligence, and education.
India’s Reliance Jio Platforms on investors’ radar . . .
India’s telecom giant Reliance Jio Platforms offers a range of digital services, including a music-streaming player and a video conferencing app. Jio Platforms expects to reach 500 million customers by 2023 and dominate half the market by 2025. The telecom company has been on the radar for many foreign investors. Facebook already owns a 9.9 per cent stake in it after investing C$7.7 billion. Recently Google announced its investment of C$6.1 billion in the company for a 7.7 per cent stake. Through this strategic partnership with Jio, Google plans to develop customized and low-cost Android smartphones for the millions of Indians yet to become active netizens. Interestingly, the telecom company is yet to see any investments from Chinese investors.