Bytedance says, TikTok ban in India causing $500,000 daily loss and job risks
Indian government's ban on Chinese video app TikTok is causing "financial losses" of up to $500,000 a day for its developer, Beijing Bytedance Technology Co. The prohibition has also put more than 250 jobs at risk, the company said in a court filing.
"The constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights of free speech and expression of numerous Indian citizens have been severely impacted," the company said in its filing, Reuters reported.
Bytedance pegged financial losses at $500,000 each day, which it said includes destruction in the value of its investments and loss of commercial revenue. It added the ban would result in its reputation and goodwill taking a hit with both advertisers and investors.
"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.
The Central Government had last week asked Google to ban TikTok app in compliance with the Madras High Court order over concerns about access to pornographic content through it.
In the filing made to the Supreme Court (SC) last Saturday, Bytedance urged the court to quash the ban and direct the IT ministry to tell companies such as Google and Apple to make the app available again on their platforms.
The SC has so far not provided any interim relief on repeated pleas by Bytedance and referred the case back to the Madras High Court, where the case will next be heard on Wednesday.
The developments have dealt a blow to the India growth plans of the Chinese developer, which is backed by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. The ban has also worried about the social media industry in India as it sees legal worries mounting if courts increasingly regulate content on their platforms.
TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with special effects and is one of the world's most popular apps. It has been downloaded by nearly 300 million users so far in India, out of more than 1 billion downloads globally, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.