ByteDance’s streaming app Resso is set to shut down services in India, effective January 31 — amid a probe from the Indian government over concerns about the company’s handling of data.
In a recent report by The Economic Times India, the company withdrew operations after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology sought information on the processing of data of customers in the country.
Resso, a music streaming service created by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, initially launched services in Indonesia and Brazil before expanding to include India — which the The Economic Times reported in August last year has now become the largest market for the app,
A ByteDance spokesperson told Music Business Worldwide, “Unfortunately, owing to local market conditions, we can no longer continue to serve users of Resso in India. Users will be offered a refund of their remaining subscription fees."
The launch followed India issued a ban on ByteDance subsidiaries TikTok, Helo, and Capcut, three years prior.
Chinese company ByteDance is no stranger to scrutiny over its data harvesting processes. Since its launch, western powers have sought to restrict and control user access to Byte Dance’s star app, TikTok, amid data security fears.
In 2023, the Information Commissioner's Office found TikTok to be in several breaches of UK GDPR (UK General Data Protection Regulation) between May 2018 and July 2020. The ICO issued a hefty fine of £12.7 million, citing that TikTok allowed “up to 1.4 million UK children under 13 to use its platform in 2020” and did little to protect or correct underage app use.
Resso shut down its free service in Indonesia and Brazil in September 2023 and relaunched it as TikTok Music. With the popularity of TikTok, the associated music streaming service is widely considered a potential competitor for the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.
In a report exploring the interface of the app in comparison to its competitors, Billboard reports that the main difference is that TikTok Music focuses on interactivity, allowing users to comment, like, and share on social media.
Tiktok Music has begun testing in Australia, Mexico, and Singapore and is expected to continue to roll out globally.
Belle Richardson is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter