In June 2020, the Indian Government banned 59 Chinese apps citing the security and privacy concerns of Indian users. Bigo, the live streaming app, was one of those apps banned by Indian officials. The company did not lose hope and was continuously trying to restart its operations in India. As per the sources, Bigo live agreed to follow all rules and regulations imposed by Indian officials on the platform. But, the live video app did not receive any satisfactory answer from the Indian government regarding its relaunch. Finally, Bigo Live is closing all Indian operations to say goodbye to India.
Bigo Exits from India
Bigo Live is shutting down its Indian operations and has removed hundreds of staff from India, as per the information leaked by an insider person who did reveal his identity.
He further added that Bigo management has asked most of the Bigo staff from India to join its different overseas teams. Till now, the majority of Indian staff got settled in other countries where Bigo has its presence. Currently, Bigo is looking to strengthen its operations in South Asia.
Bigo Live is a free app that lets users make videos or live-stream their activities to friends and strangers. Anyone can broadcast videos anytime and anywhere, and connect to anyone. Livestreamers receive live comments from other users and can search for nearby users.
There is still no confirmation about what will happen to Bigo’s Indian assets. Will it sell it to some Indian companies? When Next Big Brand asked the answer to the above question from Bigo management, they did not comment anything.
Why Bigo and other Chinese Apps were Banned?
In June 2020, India banned 59 Chinese apps. Though, India stated that it is banning all apps that are risking users’ privacy and security. But, it was not the major reason. The tussle between Indian and Chinese forces over the Line of Actual Control(LAC) was the main reason behind these apps’ ban.
Last year, there was an intense fight between Chinese and Indian forces at LAC specifically in Galwan Valley. In that fight, Chinese forces brutally murdered few Indian soldiers. That incident brought Indians on the streets against China and its products/services available in India. People demanded a complete ban on Chinese products including popular apps like Tiktok, Pubg Mobile, and Bigo live.
The government supported Indian citizen’s demands and banned 200+ Chinese apps operating in India. Among those apps, Tiktok, Pubg Mobile, and Bigo were continuously in touch with Indian authorities to relaunch their operations in India.
In February 2021, when Indian officials announced that the ban on Chinese apps will continue, Tiktok lost all hopes and closed its Indian operations. Bytedance, the parent company of Tiktok, fired all employees from its Indian operations.
Pubg Mobile, one of the most popular games in India, also got banned but due to its continuous efforts, the game is all set to relaunch in India with a new identity. Pubg India has accepted all terms and conditions of the Indian government and it has also removed all Chinese connections.
Bigo Live, the youth-centric live-streaming app, was also trying to relaunch its operations in India. The Bigo management continued meeting higher officials in the Indian IT Ministry. But it did not receive any positive news. Finally, the company understood that the possibility of relaunching Indian operations is nil. And, the startup has removed all staff from Indian operations.