TikTok and Douyin remain world’s most downloaded non-gaming apps, but growth has slowed

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TIC Tac kept his crown as the world’s most downloaded non-game app in April with 59 million installs, roughly half of the 107 million downloads a year ago, according to mobile market analysis company Sensor Tower.

The figures include the short video app TikTok and its Chinese brother Douyin, both owned by Beijing-based ByteDance.

The countries with the most downloads were Brazil and China, accounting for 13% and 12% of total TikTok and Douyin installations, respectively. The United States, which had the second highest number of installations between December and March, fell from the top two spots, according to Sensor Tower.

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The fate of TikTok in the United States has been mired in uncertainty since last summer, when then-US President Donald Trump threatened to ban the app unless ByteDance cedes US operations of TikTok, which Oracle and Walmart intended to acquire.

The current administration under the presidency Joe biden has stayed the lawsuit against TikTok, but it is still reviewing U.S. policy toward Chinese apps.

A man holding a phone walks past a panel of TikTok, known locally as Douyin, at the International Artificial Products Expo in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China October 18, 2019. Photo: Reuters

Tensions have led ByteDance to suspend its IPO plans. The nine-year-old startup, currently the world’s most valuable unicorn, struggles to formulate a business structure that can appeal to both Beijing and Washington, sources told the South China Morning Post last month.

TikTok’s spectacular growth also slowed due to political headwinds in the United States and India – another of the app’s biggest markets until the government banned it along with hundreds of other Chinese apps. last year following a deadly military skirmish along a disputed Himalayan border.

The monthly number of global installs of TikTok and Douyin has since returned to 2019 levels after more than doubling to 107 million in April 2020 from the previous year.

The challenges in the United States have also led to the abrupt departure of TikTok’s first CEO Kevin Mayer, who resigned last summer after just three months on the job. ByteDance’s new CFO, Chew Shou Zi, has been appointed CEO of TikTok last week.

The hiring of Chew as CFO of ByteDance in March was seen as one more step towards a possible public listing of the company.

Chew, who was previously Chief Financial Officer and President of International Affairs of Xiaomi, oversaw the smartphone giant’s Hong Kong IPO in 2018. Prior to that, he worked for DST Global, where he helped the capital company -risk to invest in ByteDance in 2013.

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