Mobile Internet

Sharechat vs. Bytedance: A battle in the Indian Mobile Internet Sector

The two Asian giants – India and China are the fastest growing large economies in the world. Both the countries are also moving rapidly on the path of technological advancement and the citizen of both the countries now cannot imagine life without these developments. One of the sectors that have seen numerous players rising to the top tier is the mobile internet sector. We have seen players such as Sharechat in India and Bytedance in China performing extremely well in their respective markets.

Sharechat has been invested in with over $100 million from Shunwei Capital. They have received investments from several other major players such as Xiaomi, SAIF Partners, Lightspeed India Partners, Google Launchpad and so on.

However, in a recent controversy, the Indian mobile internet application has filed a suit against the Chinese competitor Bytedance for using the name ShareChat as a Google Ad-Word for Helo. Helo is an application by Bytedance, which has a similar interface to that of ShareChat but the issue is that the interface is also very similar.

The Delhi High Court has asked the Chinese company to stop using ShareChat as a Google Ad-Word. This paid feature is used by companies to promote their application and websites on the internet with the use of keywords. These are unethical behaviours and the legal system does not allow for such activities.

This case is a stain on the Chinese mobile internet company due to its nature. However, it should also be noted that this case shows the importance of the Indian market for the Chinese companies as they can go to any distance to acquire some market share. ByteDance’s Helo has been able to get around 5 million subscribers in just 4 months after its launch in India.

Indian market is selling like hot cake for the content aggregator applications especially for those who are providing contents in vernacular languages. Though English is the global languages and very popular in India, the times are changing. The free and fast internet has brought numerous options to the masses and they are demanding content in their local languages as they can relate to them quite easily compared to a foreign language. This is the reason that companies such as Sharechat, Musical.ly, Rozbuzz and Helo are so popular in India. The only thing that these companies need to keep in mind is to not cross any legal or ethical lines as it could hurt their business in India.

Comment here