TikTok reports first-ever overall decrease in downloads

The losses are mainly in the US and India, while Southeast Asian countries continue to bring growth.

Photo: Shutterstock.com

ByteDance’s short-video app TikTok saw 143 million downloads in Apple’s App Store and Google Play in the second quarter of this year, down 17.3% compared with the first quarter, according to a report released by mobile internet research firm Sensor Tower on Wednesday.

This is the first time the data showed a quarter-on-quarter decrease in TikTok app downloads worldwide, which the research firm attributed to a decrease in downloads from residents in India and the United States, without naming specific reasons in this report. TikTok was still one of the most downloaded apps worldwide, and the top among Chinese short-video and live-streaming apps in the second quarter. Alibaba-backed VMate, a competitor, ranked fourth.

In a previous report in May, Sensor Tower warned that the brief ban TikTok faced in India in April might have cost the app 15 million new downloads but predicted then that downloads would recover. TikTok was banned by an Indian court due to concerns that the app might expose young children to pornography and other inappropriate content. TikTok also faces competition from VMate in India as the short video app just gained USD 100 million from Alibaba for its expansion there.

A comforting fact for TikTok is that its app was downloaded 20.5 million times in six Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, up 23.7% year-on-year, said Sensor Tower.

TikTok has been promoting tourism in Vietnam by linking up with Vietnam’s Society of Travel Agents – a social organization that includes Vietnamese travel and tourism businesses, tour guides, and facilitators and in Indonesia by linking with Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism, both of which are moves that intend to attract new users.