The Union government announced on Monday a ban on 47 Chinese applications. The move comes close on the heels of the Indian government's ban on 59 Chinese apps, including Bytance's TikTok, Alibaba's UC browser, citing security concerns.
"47 apps were banned late last week due to national security and privacy concerns," one person familiar with the development told B2B. The name of these apps cannot be confirmed immediately. There are many apps with names and functions, as well as an operating ethic similar to the 59 banned Chinese apps. "All of these applications are under the scanner," the person said.
An official statement is awaited.
Reportedly, the government has drawn up a list of 275 Chinese apps and will see if there are any violations regarding national security and user privacy. According to a report published by The Economic Times, " Tencent-backed PubG, Ali Express, owned by Alibaba, the phone manufacturer Xiaomi and the music streaming app Reso, owned by ByteDance, among others, is part of the list of apps that could be banned by the government".
After the government initially banned 59 Chinese apps, many of its clones and similar apps had risen to the top of the Google Play ranking. Notable, Likee Lite, a toned-down version of banned Likee, a banned version of Likee, appeared at the top of the Google Play listings a few weeks ago. Other apps from Chinese developers, like Snack Video, were also obtained from the TikTok ban. Likee Lite and Bigo Lite have already gone out of the app stores.
Snack Video, owned by Chinese Kuaishou, got 10 million new downloads between June 29 and July 19, according to data from Sensor Tower. This was almost 59 times of the 172,000 downloads the app received between June 8-28, a month before the ban.
Another app, Zili, which was released by the hardcore Xiaomi smartphone, was the second-largest variant of TikTok, according to Sensor Tower. The company found that Zili's downloads grew 167 percent to nearly 8 million over the same period.
While Indian apps have also gained from the ban, only one of the top 3 alternatives is TikTok: Roposo, InMobi-owned Roposo. Zili and the German app Dubsmash are the other two, and the three together had 21.8 million downloads in India after the ban, reaching 13 percent of TikTok installations in the first half of 2020, says Sensor Tower. All three apps have higher lifetime downloads of all TikTok alternatives on both Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
Indian Roposo has the longest downloads with 71 million installations, followed by Zili with 51 million and Dubsmash with 30.4 million.
The union electronics and Information Technology electronics said in an interim order on June 29 that the apps engaged in activities " prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the defense of India, the security of the state and public order ". After that, the ministry sent a list of 79 questions to these banned apps and gave them three weeks to respond, leading to their failure, leading to their permanent ban.
The development came in the context of rising tensions between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), as 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off with Chinese forces in the Galwan area of Ladakh earlier this month. It came ahead of the diplomatic and military talks between India and China scheduled for later this week.
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