Photo courtesy of App Store

Tiki, a short-form video-making app, will no longer be operating business in India, and users won’t be able to access or make their preferred short videos or live streaming there as a result of the ban placed on numerous Chinese apps by the Indian government over security concerns.

Tiki Joins the List

Governments across the world have been skeptical concerning apps developed by Chinese companies with TikTok being the top app under fire for allegations that the company shares data of users from other countries with the Chinese government.

For this reason, countries have taken varied measures towards these apps such as banning the use of TikTok on government devices or banning the use of the app in the state altogether. India is one such country that effected a ban on 59 apps two years ago citing that the apps “are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.”

In a press release, India listed the affected apps including ByteDance’s TikTok, which regards India as its largest market overseas, UC News and UC Browser by Alibaba, Community and Video Call apps from the top smartphone vendor in India Xiaomi, Shein, and WeChat.

While the Singapore-based company that runs Tiki, which was owned by an entity called Dol Technologies, did not appear on the list of apps, according to TechCrunch, several business executives stated that they thought the company was a loose subsidiary of one of the Chinese video apps that were banned in 2020.

To that end, Tiki announced the winding down of operations in the South Asian country by the end of this month saying “We regret to inform you that Tiki will be shutting down its operations. As of 11.59 PM India time, June 27, 2023, all Tiki functions and services will cease.”

The company assured its users of the security of its data adding “We want to inform you that all user data will be permanently deleted from our servers located in India and Singapore.”

As part of the shutdown procedure, users were reminded to download any videos that they wanted to keep and withdraw any T-coins – reward tokens on the app, before the 27th.

The news come as a shock since the app was only operational in India and was becoming well-liked for its regionally relevant focused videos at a time when short videos have become extremely popular in India. In addition, the app had about 35 million active users in the country and was among the top video apps.

Tiki joins the list of applications that have recently been winding down operations in India. Before Tiki, Zii, which served as TikTok’s replacement after the ban, closed operations in the country for similar reasons in March.

Growing Indian Short Form Video Market

Despite the legal battle against such apps, the Indian short-form video (SFV) market is growing, and statistics by Statista project that it could have 650 million active users by 2025.

Number of active users of short video platforms across India from 2019 to 2021, with an estimate for 2025 | Photo courtesy of Statista

According to a report by market consultancy firm Redseer, the apps in the Indian market are overtaking international competitors in terms of usage and appeal.

In recent years, a number of domestic short-form video platforms, including Moj, Josh, and Chingari, have developed in prominence in the expanding creator ecosystem of the nation and international players like YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels have only accelerated this ecosystem’s expansion.

Owing to an increase in the adoption and usage of smartphones, the Indian short-video market monetization is said to be on the verge of a breakout and may present an opportunity of $8–12 billion by 2030.

This makes the industry a lucrative space that is expected to see a rise in the number of apps especially from local companies as well as increase in the marketing revenue.

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