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TikTok: YouTube launches rival to be examined in India

Indian boy with TikTok app opened on phone.Image copyright
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YouTube has announced it will test a beta version of its new TiktTok rival in India.

YouTube Shorts will limit videos to 15 seconds, and the platform will feature creator tools that are similar to Chinese-owned TikTok’s.

India banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps in June as border tensions rose between the two countries.

At the time, India was TikTok’s biggest foreign market, with an estimated 120 million users.

YouTube will also be in competition with a number of local competitors who have rushed in to fill the void after TikTok’s ban in India.

In a blog post, YouTube’s vice president of product management Chris Jaffe said Shorts is “for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones”.

The new platform features a multi-segment camera to string multiple video clips together, speed controls, and a timer and countdown to record hands-free.

Shorts also gives users the option to record using music as well as access to a library of songs.

Mr Jaffe said Shorts would be expanded to other markets as the product becomes more refined and new features were added.

YouTube’s latest product release comes as the US tech firm Oracle confirmed that TikTok’s owner ByteDance had formally proposed becoming a “trusted technology partner” in the US.

The aim of the deal is to avoid President Donald Trump’s threat to shut down the app in the US over national security concerns.

Mr Trump has suggested users’ data could be accessed by the Chinese government under current arrangements.

India’s government cited similar concerns when it banned the app in June.

India’s ban was announced following clashes at the Galwan Valley on the India-China border in the Himalayas.

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