Homegrown TikTok rival Chingari on fire

Chingari, a made-in-India alternative to the hugely popular short form video app TikTok, has seen a massive spurt in downloads and active users over the last 24 hours after the Indian government banned TikTok and several other Chinese apps over security concerns.

“We were experiencing 50,000 downloads per hour earlier, and suddenly, after the news (of TikTok ban) broke, the number jumped to 100,000 downloads per hour,” said Sumit Ghosh, cofounder and chief product officer of Chingari. “We weren’t expecting a ban, it was like a sixer on the last ball,” he told ET.

The app recorded one million downloads in two days after crossing the 2.5 million mark on Sunday, Ghosh said. “We surpassed 3.5 million today and are expecting another million by the end of the day. I am hopeful that we will cross the 5 million-mark in the next 48-72 hours easily.”


Hey Bharat! We managed to crash our servers again, guys pls be patient @awscloud @awscloud and team @Chingari_IN a… https://t.co/CGJAZb2PE5— Sumit Ghosh (@sumitgh85) 1593527063000

In fact, the sudden rush resulted in servers going down multiple times. “We have added capacity and the team is working nonstop to be ready for additional inbound traffic,” he said.

Saket Modi, CEO and cofounder of enterprise cyber security company Lucideus, said banning Chinese apps because of the on-going sentiments is fine because they were collecting a lot of data, but assuming other apps are not doing something similar is not true.

“With popularity, apps become more expert on how to get more data out from smartphones,” he said. “Almost 80% of the popular applications copy data from clipboard. It automatically goes to them and gets analysed. Almost all apps do it and not just Chinese or American or Indian.”

Chingari had started gaining traction since the last couple of weeks, mostly after the clamour for a boycott of Chinese apps started rising.

The work on Chingari app had started in November 2018 but it took the company almost two years to get the product right. “We are the only Indian app to have a creation tool,” Ghosh said.