New Delhi: In a bid to hit back at China in the wake of continuing tensions over the border clashes, the Indian government decided to ban 59 Chinese mobile apps, including extremely popular ones such as short video platform TikTok, UC Browser, file-sharing app SHAREIt and CamScanner.
While the move has received criticism from within the country, many have chosen to highlight that this is an opportune moment for Indian alternatives of the banned apps to shine.
Of the 59, the ban on Tik Tok has caused a major upset, as the platform has come to be seen as a democratic one, that has space for everyone from every nook and corner of the country. The year 2019 saw 323 million TikTok downloads in India, a jump of 27 per cent from the previous year. There are Indian counterparts to TikTok such as Roposo, Chingari and Mitron.
Soon after the ban was announced, Chingari founder Sumit Ghosh claimed his app saw 100,000 downloads per hour with 205 million downloads in total. Roposo — another local venture — sets its user base at 55 million, while Mitron crossed 1 crore downloads on Google Play Store in the last two months. Of course, all these numbers are a fraction when compared to TikTok’s 500 million.
Shein, an online apparel shopping platform that has made waves since it entered India in 2017, also features on the Indian government’s list. Within a year, it crossed 5 million downloads in India. Similarly, Club Factory also gave Flipkart’s Myntra and Reliance-owned AJIO a run for its money when it entered the country in 2017, a whole decade after its competitors.
SHAREIt, Xender and ES File Explorer, all primarily file-sharing softwares, have also been banned. Their Indian replacements include Share All, JioSwitch and Smart Share. While UC Browser, DC Browser, CM Browser, APUS Browser were also banned, there are many browsing options including an Indian one — Jio browser.
Chinese app NewsDog provides news and information on issues such as health, politics, and entertainment, but local apps Inshorts or Dailyhunt could see themselves as replacements for local news. Indian social media app ShareChat, backed by Twitter, has a similar interface to its banned counterpart Helo.
Public, is an Indian app for videos and claims to have gained 50 million users within a year of launching, according to the company. It’s an app used by politicians and local authorities, and also provides “verified and informative short video content”, adds the platform. Such an app may replace any other video platform currently banned.
The banned app Hago Play With New Friends offers entertaining games including Ludo, but Ludo King, an Indian app, is already popular in Indiam with 18.9 crore monthly active users.