After the Modi government recently banned dozens of China’s largest mobile apps, India will have the possibility that India can save TikTok. In the context of increasing tensions between Beijing and its Washington counterparts, this is now One possibility is getting smaller and smaller.

 

As in the United States, the fate of TikTok’s business in India is more political than economic. However, at first glance, the benign performance of video applications designed to entertain young people.

 

After the economic slowdown triggered by the epidemic, governments around the world are increasingly involved in business decisions that were left to the private sector in the past. As companies fall into the geopolitical agenda, it can sometimes lead to tensions-as groups from Apple to HSBC have learned.

 

However, no place seems to be as important as India. This is why in the current environment-Delhi has taken a stronger stance against the Chinese government and Chinese companies-many analysts say that although TikTok is very popular in the country, any local company or investor group can defend TikTok. This It is unthinkable.

 

An investor said: “The Prime Minister is directly involved.”

 

In some ways, this is counterintuitive. TikTok’s position in the United States is far worse than in India. The possible US$30 billion valuation of its North America, Australia and New Zealand operations reflects the long-term perspective, not the current reality.

 

However, people close to investors in General Atlantic, KKR and Sequoia Capital did not participate in similar work in India.

 

The obvious candidate to perform for a large audience of TikTok in the subcontinent is the Jio division of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries. In transforming Reliance from a conglomerate based on yesterday’s “black gold” petrochemical products to a future-oriented company with wealth from data and connectivity, Mr. Ambani made the group the only national champion in India.

 

Even in remote corners of the country, the Jio department makes the Internet affordable. In this way, students who have never disturbed the teacher can take online lessons, and villagers can determine whether their cough is due to a cold, an epidemic, or a more serious disease such as cancer, thanks to telemedicine.

 

Jio certainly has a strong interest in content. People familiar with the matter said that local institutions involved in preventing TikTok from being banned in the United States have already contacted Mr. Ambani, but he rejected their lukewarm offer.

 

One of the country’s most influential media and entertainment executives said: “Joao established a patriotic narrative.” “Buying TikTok violates the agenda.”

 

Jio also has other complications. Facebook has tried to launch TikTok clone products in the United States and India, but failed, but Facebook has invested $5.7 billion in Jio, which is a large part of the $20 billion raised by Ambani from various channels. Does the organization really want to see Jio write a check to the Chinese to keep its competitors alive? However, Indian media continued to report that Jio was interested in this, which discouraged other potential bidders.

 

Jio, General Atlantic, KKR and Sequoia Capital declined to comment.

 

To be sure, the lack of confirmed bidders is not all due to fear of alienation from the government. In India, Chinese-backed companies have also encountered strong nationalist opposition, and social attention has been aroused by the widespread belief that such platforms are harmful to young people.

 

The executive said: “All social media is lost because of their own power.” “There is no sense of social responsibility.”

There are other considerations. Although TikTok had 270 million users in India before the ban was issued, the monetization of the application still faces challenges.

 

At the same time, there are still questions about TikTok’s future development in India. Indeed, sometimes it seems that India and the United States are in competition to see who can adopt the most stringent policies on China’s interests. A direct participant in the discussion said that after the Modi government banned the app, negotiations with US regulators on TikTok became more toxic, lest Washington appear to be more tolerant than Delhi.

 

When talking to politicians and executives, TikTok’s Indian rivals did not waste any time trying to fill the vacuum by poaching the biggest stars to entertain bored audiences. Unlike one of the short films, TikTok will not fix it quickly.