ByteDance clocks Rs 3.4 crore profit in India
The company is up against Facebook and Google for user attention and advertising dollars in India, which is emerging as a key battleground for social media.
China’s ByteDance, the world’s most valued startup, has a sizeable userbase in India. It started monetising TikTok through advertising only in March 2019.
ByteDance has an aggregate user base of between 250 million and 300 million across products — Helo (50 million monthly active users), TikTok (200 million, of which 120 million are active), and Vigo Video (20 million active users).
The SoftBank-backed company is up against Facebook and Google for user attention and advertising dollars in India, which is emerging as a key battleground for social media. Facebook, ByteDance and Google are in the race to lure young, first-time internet users.
ByteDance’s revenue for the year ended March 2019 isn’t comparable with the previous year because the company started recording numbers only from October 2017. During the period October 2017 to March 2018, ByteDance did not record any revenue and posted a loss of about Rs 7 lakh.
The company said revenue for the year came from service fees of Rs 41.5 crore and advertising income of Rs 2 crore. It did not clarify what it meant by service fees. The top items of spending were advertising and content expenses of about Rs 13 crore.
Comparatively, Google India’s profit rose 16% to Rs 473 crore in the financial year ended March 31.
ByteDance’s entry in India so far has been a mixed bag, with excellent user growth interspersed with a backlash from regulators, politicians and activists concerned with its alleged lascivious content and data-sharing practices with China.