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Zee5 announces TikTok-esque service HiPi, not launching immediately

In the aftermath of TikTok’s ban, Zee5 announced on Wednesday that it would be releasing HiPi, a short video platform of its own. It’s unusual for a content company to wade into the messy world of user generated content, so it will be interesting to see how this service plays out. Entrackr first broke the story on HiPi’s impending launch on June 18. That story said that HiPi will be a part of Zee5, as opposed to launching as a separate app, a Zee spokesperson told MediaNama that HiPi will indeed be a part of the Zee5 app.

They also told us that HiPi is being tested under a closed beta, and that it would be launched in the “next 30-45 days”, around September.

The TikTok ban has been enforced by telecom operators, app marketplaces, and by TikTok itself. This has led to an influx of smaller homebrewed competitors, like Mitron and Chingari, the former having raised seed funding of Rs 2 crore after the ban was announced.


Watch: Chinese apps ban: India-China cyber face-off


TikTok’s India Head, Nikhil Gandhi, in a statement said that they have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders to respond and submit clarifications. The company said on July 2 that it would not be challenging the ban on it legally, and would instead try discussing the issue in meetings with the government.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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