Amid rising border conflicts with China and growing debates on privacy and security, in the last 6 months starting from June, the Ministry of Electronics and IT of the Indian Government has issued several notices to ban 267 Chinese apps. It included popular apps like PUBG, Tiktok, Wechat, UC Browser, and many more. These app bans are termed as Economic Strike on China by a lot of Indian internet users.
Netizens are divided on the decision and its effect on the Indian start-up ecosystem. Some experts believe that it will bring new opportunities for Indian start-ups to grow. Some think that it may affect the ecosystem badly as Indian tech unicorns are heavily funded by Chinese investors.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CEO, and founder of Paytm said that it’s a bold step in the national interest. A step towards the digital revolution and Atamnirbhar App Ecosystem.
Among all the popular banned apps, PUBG and Tiktok have changed the dynamics drastically.
Tiktok, a short video platform app banned in June this year, was downloaded 16 million times in June. India is the biggest market for TikTok. Out of 2 billion downloads of the TikTok app, India had a share of 600 million.
Chingari, a short video platform Indian app, has seen its download surge from 1 lakh to almost 1 crore a day after the TikTok ban. Chingari Co-founder Sumit said that influencers are joining our platform for better reach.
Roposo, another alternative of TikTok, is adding 6 lakh users hourly after the TikTok ban. Sharechat has also launched its own short video app Moj.
These start-ups are working hard to manage the traffic on their apps. These Indian start-ups are committed to data protection, privacy, and security of Indian users. but still as per the expert’s opinion, it will take 5-6 months for influencers to adjust to the new video platform.
Instagram has also started its own short video platform named Reels.
On the other hand, in the gaming industry, the PUBG ban has also affected the life of the Indian young generation. As per NDTV Gadgets 360 report,” PUBG Mobile is one of the most popular games in India, with over five crore people have downloaded the game. That’s almost three out of every 10 Indians. Unlike video games on your computer or game console, PUBG Mobile enjoys a broad following in India because it will run smoothly on almost any phone.”
Without overlooking the negativity of the PUBG ban, it has been hailed as an opportunity for the Indian e-sport industry. FAU-G, a Desi version of PUBG by Akshay Kumar Production, is about to launch for Indian users. Call of Duty: Mobile and Free Fire are other alternatives for PUBG.
But for PUBG lovers, there is good news. After its ban in September this year, PUBG is going to be relaunched soon in India with a new avatar. The new version is called PUBG mobile India with lots of local customizations. Bytedance, a parent company of TikTok is also looking to revive its short video platform in India very soon.
The ban on Chinese apps has seen an exponential surge in Indian apps. Experts have considered it as a strategic move to help the Indian ecosystem. But filling the wide gap after the Chinese banned apps is an uphill task. Most of the alternatives to Chinese apps are not that technically sound, and they have minimal features which is a big concern for Indian users.
It remains to be seen if the Indian start-up ecosystem can gain knowledge from China about how to extend its ecosystem to become a worldwide IT hub.