TikTok has been banned in India since June 29, 2020, and since then several apps have come up that are looking to take its place. However, none of them have individually gained the same status or level of popularity that TikTok did. TikTok had an estimated 20 crore users at the time it was banned as part of a whole host of Chinese apps that were removed by the Union government.
Now, its parent company, ByteDance has filed a trademark application for TickTock with the Controller General of Patents Design and Trademarks. The company said this was for hosting online web facilities for others for sharing online content and hosting digital content on the internet. This was first put out by tipster Mukul Sharma. The application was filed on July 6. It was filed Trademarks Class 42 which pertains to â€śscientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto".
The Print had earlier reported that TikTok was hopeful about its return to the country and that its ban will be lifted, especially against the backdrop of the IT rules being enforced and the US not banning the app.
According to the Hindustan Times, the company has been in touch with the Indian government, and in June, informed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology that it was compliant with the IT Rules. However, a ministry official told the newspaper that this was unlikely to affect its ban and that it was not among the list of significant social media intermediaries that had been asked to share compliance details.
PUBG Mobile, one of the apps that had been banned, recently made its return to the country as Battlegrounds Mobile India. Shein, an e-commerce platform that was popular in the country and was also banned, is looking to make a re-entry during Amazonâ€™s Prime Day later this month.
The Indian ministry suspended apps last year amid the border tussle with China. It had said that these measures were undertaken on the basis of credible information that these apps are engaged in activities which are "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".
Despite the India ban and a legal battle in the US, TikTok became the highest-grossing app globally in 2020 with $540 million in profit.
Apart from Indian apps such as Josh, MX TakaTak, Roposo, Chingari, Moj Mitron and others that were started after the ban, large social media companies such as Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat have all entered the short-video app space.