$500,000 daily loss and 250 endangered jobs | TikTok survives the scare as Madras High Court lifts the ban.
“The constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights of free speech and expression … of numerous Indian citizens have been severely impacted,” Bytedance’s latest filing in Supreme Court
TikTok’s parent company Bytedance’s court filling said that India’s ban resulted in “financial losses” of up to $500,000 a day and put more than 250 jobs at risk.
TikTok is a phenomenon in India with nearly 300 million users, as per analytics firm Sensor Tower.
After Madras High Court ordered prohibition, TikTok was removed from Apple’s and Google’s India app stores.
This has been demoralizing for Japan’s SoftBank Group backed Bytedance’s India aspirations
Social media industry in India is also wary of the ban as it might set a trend for courts to regulate content on their platforms.
Bytedance urged the Supreme Court to quell the ban in a filing. The filing also urged the apex court to order the federal IT ministry to allow Google and Apple to make the app available again in India.
Bytedance is one of the world’s most valuable startups, standing at $75 billion. It is considering a public listing in Hong Kong this year, as per Reuters.
It said the quoted $500,000 a day loss includes value depreciation of its investments and commercial revenue. Bytedance stated that the ban may hamper its reputation and goodwill among advertisers and investors.
The company’s filing said:
“Banning has had 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 effected since the ban came into effect,”
The Supreme Court did not pay heed to repeated pleas by Bytedance. It referred the case back to the Madras HC and gave it till 24th April to finalize its verdict. Failure will revoke the ban.
The Madras High Court Bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar lifted the ban on further downloads of TikTok in the country.