“Unlike TikTok, Resso escaped the recent ban on apps of Chinese origin in India,” we wrote earlier this month, when reporting on ByteDance’s streaming music app reaching 10.6m installs in India so far – including 3m in June alone. Our closer for that article, commenting that “it’s still available in India – for now” wasn’t that wild a premonition really: Resso now appears to be at risk of being banned too.
The Economic Times reported that the Indian government is working through a list of 275 apps from Chinese developers or backed by Chinese companies to decide whether they should be banned too. Resso is one of the highest-profile apps on the new list, alongside game PubG and shopping app AliExpress. The list comes as India’s recent border skirmish with China has developed into a bigger row over the potential security and privacy threats in apps and digital services.
“Some of these apps have been red-flagged due to security reasons while others have been listed for violation of data sharing and privacy concerns,” an official told the newspaper, which took care to caveat that there is no guarantee that any of the apps on the new list are definitely going to be banned. Note too that the 59 apps that were banned in June were given a deadline of this week to respond – it’s possible that some of them (including TikTok) could return to app stores in India – but only if they can convince the relevant ministry, against that backdrop of ongoing tensions with China.
This is a localised issue at the moment, but it’s an important one for the music industry to be following. TikTok was huge in India, and in its absence, several Indian short-video apps are enjoying a spike in downloads – which could in time give them a platform for expansion globally. Resso is at a much earlier stage in its growth: a ban in India could slow the plans to roll it out elsewhere in the world. Or perhaps even accelerate those plans…