Twitter had talked to acquire ShareChat in order to expand India presence. The American firm is an investor in ShareChat, and offered $1.1 bn in and an additional investment of $900mn for the buyout. Twitter had deliberated to take Moj, a short-form video app with 80mn users, owned by ShareChat, to present it as a global rival to TikTok. ShareChat has raised $260 mn from Lightspeed Partners India, Elevation Capital, India Quotient etc.
ByteDance, the parent company of controversial yet successful app TikTok, is in preliminary talks to list the short video app on the New York Stock Exchange, China’s Global Times newspaper tweeted, citing sources and media reports. “#ByteDance is in preliminary talks to list #TikTok in #NYSE, according to sources, media reports.” said the Tweet from the official handle of the China-based newspaper. No further details are available, yet.
The govt, in a notice to banned Chinese apps, said the order to block them would continue under section 69A of the IT Act. India banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok in June 2020 and 118 apps, including PUBG mobile game, in Sept 2020, blocking more than 200 apps up till now. The apps were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India” the ministry had said.
Josh, a TikTok copy app, has raised more than $100 mn from investors including Google and Microsoft. Josh is one of several home-grown short-video platforms that have mushroomed after India blocked TikTok and other Chinese apps in June. The app is owned by Bengaluru-based VerSe Innovation, valued at over $1 bn following the investment. The funds will be used to scale up Josh. VerSe owns multiple Indian languages news and content platform Dailyhunt.
Reddit to buy short-video platform Dubsmash to become the latest entry into the space dominated by TikTok and have new entrants likes Snapchat and Facebook’. Details of the financial transaction were not disclosed but the acquisition was based on a combination of cash and stock. Dubsmash, founded in 2013 and has over 196.8 mn downloads globally. Dubsmash’s entire team, including co-founders Suchit Dash, Jonas Drüppel, and Tim Specht, will join Reddit.
The Trump administration on Friday opted not to grant ByteDance a new extension of an order requiring it to divest TikTok’s U.S. assets. However, the talks will continue over TikTok’s fate. Last week, the administration granted ByteDance a one-week extension until Friday over the order to shed TikTok’s U.S. assets. President Trump in August gave orders to enforce the divestiture order once the deadline expired, but it is unclear when or how the govt may seek to compel divestiture.
Apple has hired a former venture capitalist at Greylock Partners Josh Elman to work on the App Store. He is known for his early investments in Discord and the precursor to TikTok. Elman’s experience in identifying and investing in apps that later became hits could help Apple better promote software in its app store, which generated around $54 bn in revenue in fiscal 2020. His presence could also improve Apple’s strained relationships with developers.
Indian banned another 43 Chinese mobile apps including Alibaba Group’s Aliexpress, DingTalk, AliPay, Taobao Live amidst months-long standoff at a Himalayan border site. The 43, including a range of dating apps, threaten the “sovereignty and integrity of India”, the IT ministry said in a statement. India has previously banned over 170 apps, including popular short video app TikTok, alleging that they collect and share users data which could pose a threat to the nation.