Soon after India’s Prime Minister called on the country to become “self-reliant” in May, short-form video app Chingari began marketing itself as a homegrown alternative to TikTok. It was downloaded 2.5 million times in six days.
A few weeks later, when India banned TikTok and dozens of other apps after a military conflict with China escalated, Chingari really exploded, with 15 million downloads in the two days since the ban, according to cofounder Sumit Ghosh.
He shared, “It was crazy, crazy stuff. Banning TikTok was never the business plan for us.”
But he fully endorses the government’s rationale for the ban, arguing Indian user data needs to be in Indian hands.
As a democratically elected government, it’s unlikely India can completely close off its internet and kick out big US tech companies in the future.
Chingari plans to focus on its home country until it hits 100 million users. The app does eventually have global ambitions.