NEW DELHI: Indian regional social media platform Sharechat’s Moj app, which was launched right after the Indian government on 29 June banned 59 Chinese apps, has garnered over 10 million downloads in six days. In a tweet on Tuesday, Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder and CEO of Sharechat, said the app was coded in 30 hours and has been listed at the top of Google’s free apps list on the Play Store today.
Moj is a short-video platform that emulates the features of TikTok, which was amongst the apps banned by the government. Sharechat itself is a competitor to Helo, another social media platform that was owned by TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance. The parent app itself is also listed amongst the top free apps on Google Play right now.
The ban on Chinese apps has given Indian apps a big push recently. Apps like Sharechat have seen an influx of users as people look for TikTok alternatives. Other Indian apps, like Chingari, Mitron, Roposo and Bolo Indya have also received a boost in the number of downloads since the ban. The government had banned the Chinese apps because they were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order."
Roposo, Mitron and Chingari have said that they were getting over 300,000 users per hour in the day after the ban. Mitron even announced a seed funding round of ₹2 crore. Be that as it may, Sharechat is the only real established social media platform in the race.
The ban has left a short window for Indian apps to capitalise on the void left by TikTok, Helo and others. Two other apps, Bigo Live and Likee — owned by Singapore-based Bigo Technology — had also been banned. Between TikTok, Helo, Likee, Vigo Video and Bigo Live, the apps share a user base of around 400 million users. All of those users seem to be seeking new platforms to go to.
While Indian apps are enjoying success in the wake of the ban, influencers have also headed to global platforms like Instagram and YouTube. Reports say that Facebook is gearing up to launch Reels, its TikTok clone, in India soon.