TikTok may be banned in India, but this ByteDance app is having a moment there

By Christopher Zara

TikTok was among dozens of China-linked apps that were banned in India last month over what the government said were national security concerns. The wildly popular short-video service—owned by China’s ByteDance—has faced increased scrutiny over its data-collection practices, although TikTok has said it does not share user data with the Chinese government. India’s move, which followed a fatal clash between the two countries on a disputed border, was notable in scale, affecting some 59 mobile apps and severing TikTok from one of its largest markets.

But the move hasn’t completely kept ByteDance out of India. Resso, a music streaming app launched by ByteDance earlier this year, is thriving in India, one of the world’s largest smartphone markets. According to new data from Sensor Tower, first-time installs of Resso on Apple’s App Store and Google Play just hit 10.6 million. About 74% of its downloads come from India, the firm says, with the other 26% coming from Indonesia.

Resso began testing in the two countries late last year. It has a Spotify-like mix of free and paid tiers, as TechCrunch described it, and is designed to encourage users to share song lyrics on other social networks. Why it has so far escaped the same fate as ByteDance’s TikTok in India is unclear. According to Sensor Tower, the app’s publisher is listed as Moon Video, not ByteDance.

Whatever the reason, it’s working for Resso for now. “Since June 29, it has generated about 1.1 million first-time installs from the Indian App Store and Google Play,” a rep for Sensor Tower says.


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