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TikTok rival Kwai pulls out of India market

Kwai is the second Chinese app to exit the Indian market. Earlier this month, ByteDance-owned Vigo Video also exited India market.

Tencent-backed video-sharing app Kuaishou or Kwai, which competes with TikTok, has discontinued its service in India, the world’s second-most populous country.

Local media Entrackr reported the app told its Indian users through a notification that its services will no longer be available in India. “We sadly announce that Kwai will no longer be operational in India. Thank all of you for constantly showering love and support for Kwai,” the notification said.

Kwai has reportedly asked its users to move to its affiliate app UVideo, which enables users to convert their photos and videos into video status that can be used as WhatsApp status or as Facebook stories. The app has over 50 million downloads on Play Store.

Valued anywhere between USD 20-25 billion, Kwai is one of the biggest rivals of TikTok with over 700 million users worldwide. In India, where it was available in about 15 languages, it claimed over 100 million app downloads.

Kwai is the second Chinese app to exit the Indian market in recent times. Earlier this month, ByteDance said it is shutting down its short video app Vigo in India, after pulling it out from Brazil and the Middle East. Vigo has given users time till October end to transfer their videos to TikTok.

Over the last couple of years, multiple Chinese short video apps such as Helo, TikTok, Like, Injoy, and Kwai have been vying for India’s largely untapped market. With over half a billion smartphone users, India is the only market, which offers them an opportunity as large as their home market. Of all the apps, TikTok has been able to grow at a break-neck speed, amassing close to 200 million monthly active users. Overall, India has been the biggest driver of TikTok, generating 611 million installs to date.

However, since last year, the Indian regulators have been keeping close tabs on Chinese apps, which have been criticized for not being vigilant, resulting into users uploading vulgar and obscene content on their platforms. The worsening geopolitical relations between India and China have now made the matters worse with the Indian government endorsing local apps and services.