India’s decision to ban 59 ‘made-in-China’ apps is proving a blessing to local software developers, especially alternatives to video-sharing social networking service TikTok, which until the ban had 200 million users in the country.
Some experts, however, see challenges for Indian app developers in ensuring they can win over users from Chinese peers. Sanchit Vir Gogia, founder of Greyhound Research, stresses that it is difficult for apps made for a specific country or market to compete with larger players.
“[A]pplications require a critical mass of users to be successful, to learn from and most importantly allow for the scale critical to ensure a good return for investors,” Gogia said, adding that there are additional issues and problems for Indian ones. They include the country’s lack of both available talent and the ability to invest long term in a product, poor user experience and — crucially — the application’s viability given the current focus on the domestic market, he said.
But the biggest threat for Indian developers could be if the government again opens up the domestic market to Chinese apps, Gogia said. “If TikTok is back soon after ensuring full compliance with local laws, it will come back with a vengeance and can be expected to spend incrementally on ensuring both retaining and furthering its user base in the country,” he said.Nikkei Asian Review
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