Global  companies  gain  from  anti-China  tilt

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Growing anti-China sentiments in India and the government ban on Chinese apps seems to have helped global companies more than those from India.

According to app analytics firm Sensor Tower, only one of the top three apps that gained from the ban on TikTok was Indian—Roposo. The other two were New York-based Dubsmash and short-video app Zili, which is owned by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi.

The number of installations of Zili app surged nearly threefold in the three weeks following the June-end ban on TikTok, rising to 8 million installs from about 3 million in the prior period. Installations of Chinese Snack Video rose to a lifetime high of 23.5 million downloads from India and ranked No.1 on Apple’s App Store in the week of 13 July. Both Zili and Snack Video may face bans in the future, according to recent reports, but they are fully operational in the country right now.

A survey by influencer marketing firm, Influencer.in, found most of the country’s influencers have been “leaning towards” Facebook-owned Instagram to distribute content. The firm noted that while other platforms are being explored, current data suggest Instagram has “emerged a clear winner”.

Google-owned YouTube recently announced there are now 2,500 creators on its platform who have over one million followers. The company, however, did not attribute the increase to the ban.

The trend is in line with what experts had predicted after the 29 June ban on 59 apps by the Indian government including TikTok and CamScanner. Indian platforms like Chingari and Mitron, which gained from the ban, are too early in their life cycle for influencers to really benefit.

Meanwhile, Samsung gained market share in the smartphone space. Data from Counterpoint Research showed that the South Korean smartphone maker rose to the second spot in the smartphone market, with 26% market share in the June quarter; a sharp increase from the 16% market share it had in Q1 of this year.

It toppled Vivo for the second spot, which retained its 17% market share from the last quarter. Realme and Oppo, which are also Chinese phone makers, shed 3% market share each in the second quarter of the calendar year. Vivo, Oppo and Realme are owned by China’s BBK Electronics.

“The contribution of Chinese brands (to the smartphone market) fell to 72% in Q2 2020 from 81% in Q1 2020. This was mainly due to the mixture of stuttering supply for some major Chinese brands such as Oppo, Vivo and Realme, and growing anti-China sentiment that was compounded by stringent actions taken by the government to ban more than 50 apps of Chinese origin and delay the import of goods from China amid extra scrutiny,” said Shilpi Jain, research analyst at Counterpoint.

Samsung lost its lead in the smartphone market over a year ago, and hasn’t been able to regain that spot since. Retailers had earlier predicted that anti-Chinese sentiments could benefit Samsung, which has also ramped up its product portfolio in the country during the quarter. The company launched four affordable smartphones under its M series during the quarter, capitalising on the pent-up demand and anti-China sentiments.

Indian smartphone makers Micromax, Lava and Karbonn were expected to launch smartphones soon, but they will have an uphill battle, having lost their place in the market to Chinese brands over the years.

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