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Govt bans TikTok-like Snack Video app just when its popularity was surging

Shubham Verma     November 24, 2020

Snack Video, the Chinese app that joined Chingari, Mitron, Roposo, and Trell, to fill the TikTok-sized void in India, is now facing the ban from the Indian government. After TikTok was banned in June, a flurry of short-video apps emerged to cater to consumer's hunger, Snack Video being one of them, providing a similar interface and several tools to create short-form remix videos.

The ban from the government comes at a time when Snack Video was observing a surge in downloads in India and was outperforming other homegrown apps in recent download statistics.

On Tuesday evening, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued a ban on over 40 apps, including Snack Video. These apps are not just banned, they have been blocked by the government under section 69A of the Information and Technology Act, which means the access to them will be suspended.

The latest move by the Indian government is based on comprehensive reports that it received from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre that comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The government of India has cited security reasons for the ban, including the statement that says these apps were engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity, and defence of India, the security of the state, and public order.

Snack Video was flying high

But this decision of the government comes at a time when Snack Video was just soaring onto new heights, especially after the ban on TikTok. According to the latest data from analytics firm Sensor Tower, Snack Video was the most downloaded app, registering 190 million downloads since June 29, the day when ByteDance-owned TikTok was banned in India for being a Chinese app.

The popularity of Snack Video began to grow slowly. Snack Video outperformed Mitron TV, Chingari, Trell, and Roposo, the India-based apps that initially saw an unprecedented surge in their adoption but their popularity began to fade later at the expense of increased adoption of Snack Video among consumers. In the last 30 days, Snack Video registered 35 million downloads in India.

The download numbers of Chingari, Mitron TV, and Trell have stumbled to lakhs from millions according to the latest data from Sensor Tower. In the past 30 days, downloads for Chingari and Trell stood at 800,000 and 330,000, respectively. Mitron TV, on the other hand, saw the least number of downloads that stood at 55,000 installs.

What is Snack Video?

The Snack Video app was launched by Kuaishou Technology earlier this year. The company is based in China and draws its funding from Tencent. This app was announced on a global platform as a competitor to the popular TikTok app that is owned by ByteDance.

It has been available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store for a long time because it managed to escape the sight of the Indian government when it issued the list of the first set of banned apps. But, the government has identified the app it deems is harmful to the nation and announced to ban it.

What can you do now?

The ban will soon come into effect, if not immediately. It will be better if you save all your videos and creations from the app to your local storage to ensure you do not lose access to them. Snack Video will soon be blocked by internet service providers and telecom companies in India. You still have a range of apps to create short-form remix videos, including Chingari, Roposo, and Mitron TV among others.


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