TikTok prioritizes US, Japan, India in global push, but ditches UK

With over 500 million monthly active users in 154 countries, TikTok is rethinking its future.

Source: Unsplash.

ByteDance’s short video app TikTok has labeled the US, Japan, and India as strategic countries to boost its overseas expansion, Chinese media LatePost reported.

While the US and Japan have been already popular markets for TikTok, the Beijing-based startup has increased its emphasis on the fast-growing Indian market, where the company has grown its number of daily active users (DAU) by 50 million this year.

The number of new users of TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin reached 188 million in the first quarter of 2019, with a year-on-year increase of 70%, and half of them were from India, app analytics organization Sensor Tower report revealed. Indians have also installed the TikTok app 89 million times during the first quarter of the year, more than eight times the number from last year. By comparison, the US gained about 13 million installs in the same time period.

Due to this fast growth, India was upgraded to the list of strategic countries, despite previously being ranked lower in term of average revenue per user (ARPU), an indicator applied internally by the firm to differentiate markets, according to the report.

The move also comes after a backlash the company faced last April, when the Indian government ordered TikTok be removed from both Google and Apple app stores for two weeks, for supposedly encouraging pornography and other illicit content. After the reversal of the court ban, the app was rapidly back among the country’s top downloads.

It’s reported that TikTok will combine with Vigo, another ByteDance-owned video-sharing app, to continue its growth in the Indian market.

The Brazilian market has also grabbed more attention in TikTok’s plans since its competitors, including short video platform Kuaishou (marketed outside of China as Kwai) and live-streaming app YY, are growing rapidly in South America.

Meanwhile, Tiktok has removed the UK out of the selected strategic countries. The Chinese company has been under investigation in the UK since February for how it collects and uses personal data of young users, and whether it pays attention to children’s safety on the platform.

ByteDance is currently facing a leadership shakeup, according to the report, as in recent months several product managers resigned, and the positions of general manager in Japan and India remain vacant.