ByteDance Files Document Against the Ban, at The Supreme Court of India
COVID-19 and China
ByteDance Holi event in India. PHOTO: ByteDance LinkedIn page reported on April 23 that, Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, the parent company of TikTok, has filed a document in court against the ban on its overseas version of TikTok in India. India’s ban on popular Chinese video app is resulting in “financial losses” of up to USD 500,000 a day with more than 250 jobs at risk.

As mentioned before by EqualOCean, earlier this month, an Indian High Court ordered the federal government to ban the download of TikTok, arguing that the app is advocating pornography. After receiving instructions from the Indian federal IT department, Apple and Google removed TikTok from their Indian app store last week. According to data from the analysis company Sensor Tower, TikTok has so far been downloaded more than 1 billion times worldwide and close to 300 million times in India.

In a statement about the ruling, TikTok said, “We have faith in the Indian judicial system and we are optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by over 120 million monthly active users in India.” 

The developments have dealt a blow to the India growth plans of Bytedance, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and by private equity. Bytedance, one of the world’s most valuable startups potentially worth around USD 75 billion, was considering a public listing in Hong Kong this year, sources told Reuters.

ByteDance filed a document at the Supreme Court of India on Saturday, urging the court to revoke the ban, instructing the Indian federal IT department to tell companies such as Google and Apple to resume TikTok downloads on their platform.

ByteDance believes that the ban on TikTok will cause the company to lose USD 500,000 a day, including a reduction in the value of the investment and a loss of business income. This also indicates that the ban will damage the reputation and goodwill of the company in the minds of investors and advertisers.

TikTok, formerly known as, has one of the world's fastest growing user bases platforms. As we can see from the graph below that India is clearly the biggest market for TikTok with 41.7 million downloads in the first quarter of 2019. It is understandable why ByteDance wants the Indian court to revoke the ban. 

“Banning has had an adverse impact on the user base of this app, losing close to 1 million new users per day. It is estimated that approximately 6 million requests for downloads could not be affected since the ban came into effect,” the company said in the filing.

The Supreme Court filing included a table in which Bytedance compared TikTok to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by listing 13 of its implemented safety features, including parental controls.

Recently EqualOcean also reported that ByteDAnce is not affected by the ban and plans to invest USD 1 billion in India over the next 3 years. 

For the platform, this is the latest setback after it was banned in Bangladesh and recently also handed its largest-ever fine in a US case for illegally gathering children's data. It had accepted to pay USD 5.7 million and implement new child protection measures.

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