BENGALURU: Ask anyone how they spent the lockdown and pat comes the reply: Binge-watching shows, creating videos on TikTok, and shopping on Shein. As tensions between India and China simmer, some Bengalureans voluntarily avoided Chinese brands, however, with the Indian government putting a blanket ban on 59 Chinese apps, a large section is being vocal about going local.
Even as radio jockey Jane Jayekumar, admittedly a huge fan of Shein, “cried harder” than those TikTok users with a million followers, and is hoping the ban is revoked soon, fashion blogger and entrepreneur Divya Maben likes to think the government wouldn’t have taken such measures unless they pose cyber security risks. “But this impacts a lot of people whose income is from these platforms. Luckily, I’ve only been creating content on TikTok recently and unlike Instagram, I don’t rely on it for business,” she says.
However, when it comes to fashion, a ban on brands can have a substantial impact. “Unlike local stores/brands, you could purchase trendy items at low prices on the app. You don’t always get the best quality but shopping there helped me cut costs spent towards the content I create,” explains Maben.
Public memory is short and people will move on, believes Manas Mehrotra, managing director, NestaVera G, a firm investing in tech startups. “This isn’t a make or break situation. People get used to a technology and when there are restrictions or something new, they move on,” he says.
Going local is the new buzzword, and Manoj Shah, director, Vu2Vu India, who recently launched an online virtual education platform, feels this ban will encourage Indian entrepreneurs to work towards delivering new products of high quality and global credibility. “Banning Chinese apps, which have a security concern, is an action that will support the Indian IT industry, which is highly capable of producing such world-class platforms. Today, customer data is most vulnerable and can be easily misused by many apps. It was something that was observed during the lockdown where web conferences were hijacked by intruders creating embarrassing scenarios for participants,” he says.
While brand guru Harish Bijoor agrees that Indians hooked onto TikTok will experience withdrawal symptoms, he feels it will take time for local players wanting to cash in. “It takes time to gain traction. TikTok has set the quality bar high,”he says.
Isha Pant, DCP, Command Centre Bengaluru
Bangalore Police has an online presence on all social media platforms which is not limited to TikTok. We have a greater reach on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram which have a huge following so our programmes will continue. There was no special focus on TikTok since whatever we had on one platform was shared across other platforms as well. Because we have other platforms which we are active on and maintain a good level of interaction with the public, we will continue with them and post videos with subtitles.