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TikTok’s Growth Shows Signs of Winding Down

By Ding Yi / Jul 09, 2021 08:38 PM / Business & Tech

TikTok was still the world’s most downloaded non-game app in June, but whether the Chinese-owned app will continue to be No. 1 is becoming less certain as downloads slow.

Last month, the ByteDance-owned short video app reaped 65 million downloads globally, representing a dramatic drop from the same month in 2020 and even in May this year, when the app was downloaded 87 million times and 80 million times worldwide respectively, according to a report by research firm SensorTower.

China, where the app goes by the name Douyin, accounted for 13% of the new downloads, becoming the app’s biggest download contributor for the month, followed by Indonesia with 12%, SensorTower said.

Early signs of a slowdown appeared in February 2021, when TikTok’s global downloads nearly halved year-on-year. The month before, India, a market that once contributed a large part of TikTok’s global downloads, banned TikTok due to data privacy and national securities concerns.

TikTok is also facing uncertainty in the U.S. and some European countries where the app’s promise to protect user information — especially that of minors — has been questioned. In light of this, TikTok has established so-called transparency centers in the U.S. and Europe.

In June, Facebook claimed the title as the world’s second most downloaded non-game app, with 52 million installs, climbing a place from a year ago, according to SensorTower.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com) and editor Heather Mowbray (heathermowbray@caixin.com)

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