India is the second–largest market worldwide for app downloads as the mobile-first country registered the strongest three-year growth among the top five app economies as per analytics firm AppAnnie’s recent report. TikTok, SHAREit, Xender, WeChat, UC Browser, ClubFactory are among the other prominent apps that have been blocked amid rising tensions between India and China following clashes at the border two weeks ago.
In a summary, there are a total of 59 apps of China origin banned in India, including some popular names such as TikTok, CamScanner, Shareit, Mobile Legends, UC Browser, Mi Community, Mi Video Call, and Weibo. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Monday invoked its power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act to put a ban on these apps and termed their usage ‘prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order’.
Thus, even if the banned apps are taken down from Google’s Play Store, there will be an alternative route to get these apps for free. Also, the apps would continue to function on smartphones unless their access to the server is not blacklisted by internet service providers. Therefore, there are chances that the government would ask internet service providers to block IP addresses and access to these apps.
You can also check the Top 10 Chinese Android Apps And Its Alternatives App for your Smartphone
“The compilation of the data, it’s mining, and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defense of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” it said. “There have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of you.”
In the list of banned apps, there are some that do not require internet access to work. Moreover, there are apps that come pre-loaded on smartphones. It is still to be seen how the government plans to impose a ban on the use of such apps.
In the Mobile system, the ad tech company that owns Roposo, a video app that competes with TikTok, said the move would open up the market for its platform while ShareChat, the Indian social network, welcomed the government’s move.
How will the ban be enforced in 59 apps of China?
The notification is expected to be followed by instructions to Internet service providers to block these apps. Users are likely to soon see a message saying access to the apps has been restricted on the request of the government.
59 Chinese apps banned in India and their alternatives
|Banned App Names||Category||Alternative|
|TikTok||Social Media||Chingari, Instagram IGTV, YouTube, Snapchat|
|Shareit||File transfer||Google Files Go|
|Kwai||Social Media||Instagram IGTV, YouTube, Snapchat|
|UC Browser||Browser||Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox|
|Baidu map||Maps||Google Maps, HERE Maps|
|Shein||Shopping||Myntra, Flipkart, Snapdeal|
|Clash of Kings||Games||Ludo King|
|DU battery saver||Utility||NA*|
|Helo||Social Media||Instagram IGTV, YouTube, Snapchat|
|Likee||Social Media||Instagram IGTV, YouTube, Snapchat|
|YouCam makeup||Utility||Snapchat, G Cam, Open Camera|
|CM Browers||Internet browser||Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox|
|APUS Browser||Internet browser||Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox|
|ROMWE||Shopping||Myntra, Flipkart, Snapdeal|
|Club Factory||Shopping||Myntra, Flipkart, Snapdeal|
|Beutry Plus||Utility||Snapchat, G Cam, Open Camera|
|Instant messaging||WhatsApp, Telegram, Hike|
|QQ Mail||Email Client||Outlook|
|Social media||Reddit, Twitter, Quora|
|Xender||File transfer||Google Files Go|
|QQ Music||Audio||VLC, MX Player|
|QQ Newsfeed||News||Flipboard, Inshorts, Google News|
|Bigo Live||Video sharing||Instagram IGTV, YouTube, Snapchat|
|SelfieCity||Utility||Snapchat, G Cam, Open Camera|
|Mail Master||Email Client||Outlook|
|Parallel Space||Utility||Dual Apps, Multiple App Cloner|
|Mi Video Call – Xiaomi||Communication||Google Duo|
|WeSync||Utility||Google Files Go|
|ES File Explorer||Utility||Google Files Go|
|Viva Video – QU Video Inc||Video sharing||Instagram IGTV, YouTube, Snapchat|
|Meitu||Camera||Snapchat, G Cam, Open Camera|
|Vigo Video||Video sharing||Snapchat, G Cam, Open Camera|
|New Video Status||Video sharing||Snapchat, G Cam, Open Camera|
|DU Recorder||Utility||AZ Screen Recorder|
|Vault- Hide||File manager||Google Files Go|
|Cache Cleaner DU App studio||Utility||NA*|
|DU Browser||Browser||Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox|
|Hago Play With New Friends||Games||Ludo King|
|Cam Scanner||Utility||Microsoft Offile Lens, Adobe Scan|
|Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile||Utility||NA*|
|Wonder Camera||Camera||Snapchat, G Cam, Open Camera|
|Photo Wonder||Camera||Snapchat, G Cam, Open Camera|
|QQ Player||Media player||VLC, MX Player|
|Sweet Selfie||Camera||Snapchat, G Cam, Open Camera|
|Baidu Translate||Utility||Google Translate, Microsoft Translate|
|Vmate||Video sharing||Instagram IGTV, YouTube, Snapchat|
|QQ International||Instant messaging||WhatsApp, Telegram, Hike|
|QQ Security Center||Utility||NA*|
|QQ Launcher||Utility||Microsoft Launcher|
|U Video||Video sharing||Instagram IGTV, YouTube, Snapchat|
|V fly Status Video||Video sharing||Instagram IGTV, YouTube, Snapchat|
|Mobile Legends||Games||Ludo King|
What will be the impact of the ban?
These 59 apps of China on the banned list are very popular in India, especially TikTok, which has over 100 million active users in the country, mainly in the heartland. New social media platforms like Helo and Likee, as well as a video chat app Bigo Live, are immensely popular among Indians who are not comfortable in English. These users will have to look for substitutes.
Also, most of these platforms have Indian creators, for many of whom this is the only source of income. Many of these apps have offices and employees in India, and a few thousand jobs could be at stake.