India's decision to ban popular video app Tik Tok earlier this month has put at risk the jobs of 250 employees of the app's parent company, Beijing Bytedance Technology Co. The startup is facing losses of $50,000 a day due to the Tik Tok ban in India.
Beijing Bytedance Technology Co has now challenged the government's order in the Supreme Court. The apex court has, however, referred the case back to the Madras High Court that had ordered the ban in the first place following complaints of illicit use of the app to spread child pornography. The IT ministry, as per the court's directive, had asked Google and Apple to remove Tik Tok in India.
The Tik Tok founders, in their filing, have stated that the losses since the implementation of the ban have occurred in the form of lesser investments and no advertisement revenue. The $75 billion worth company, currently one of the world's most valuable startups, is funded by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp and other private equity firms.
Out of the nearly 1 billion downloads of the Tik Tok app worldwide, India accounts for 200 million users. Tik Tok said that the ban has also severely hit its reputation and goodwill among the potential investors as well as advertisers.
"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 six million requests for downloads could not be affected since the ban came into effect," the company said in the filing, Reuters reported.
Tik Tok has also stated that it has put in place as many as 13 safety measures, including parental control, to prevent any illicit use by minors. It added that "a very minuscule" proportion of the app's content is obscene or inappropriate.
Tik Tok videos had become a rage in India, especially among the youngsters aged between 15 and 25 who used it to show off their acting and singing skills. However, a few incidents of murder and molestation linked to Tik Tok usage were reported from several parts of the country, triggering alarm. Senior citizens, especially parents of young children, have unequivocally called for the ban of the popular app.