- Remove China Apps, an app that has become popular in India over the last few weeks and has done just as its name suggests has been banned from the Play Store.
Remove China Apps, an app that has become popular in India over the last few weeks and has done just as its name suggests has been banned from the Play Store.
India’s top trending app, which has been downloaded more than 5 million times since late May and allowed users to detect and quickly delete apps created by Chinese companies, has been removed from the Play store for violating the Deceptive Behavior Policy of Google Play Store.
Under this policy, a Google Play Store app can not make changes to system settings of a user or functionality outside the app without the user’s awareness and consent, and can not allow or incentivize users to uninstall or disable third-party applications.
The app, created by the Indian firm OneTouch AppLabs, has gained popularity in India partly due to an increasing anti-China sentiment among many people as friction between the world’s two most populous nations has escalated over a Himalayan border dispute in recent days.
In recent days, many Indian celebrities have backed the concept of deleting Chinese phones.
Over the weekend, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev posted a video showing him removing multiple applications that had China affiliations.
Citing an industry source, the Chinese state-run news outlet Global Times claimed on Tuesday that if the Indian government allows the “irrational anti-China sentiment” to continue it risks damaging bilateral relations that are “likely to draw tit-for-tat retaliation from Beijing.”
According to Counterpoint Research, Chinese smartphone manufacturers make up over 70 percent of the Indian market as of the first quarter of 2020. Chinese apps have made substantial inroads in the region.
SensorTower reported TikTok had 636 m of downloads in India, excluding Android stores from third parties. That compares to Instagram’s 277 m downloads and Snapchat’s 99 m from 1 January 2014 until now.
If India ‘s mood continues, this may mean bad news for many Chinese firms including ByteDance and UC Browser, which count India as their largest overseas market.
Although it had a 4.9-star rating on the Google store, reviews, before it was taken down, showed that deleting Chinese apps didn’t pick up devices with well-known Chinese links, such as Shenzhen-based internet giant Tencent’s battle-royal mobile PUBG, as well as pre-installed devices on Chinese smartphones.
Sonam Wangchuk, an Indian engineer and reformer called for a boycott of Chinese goods. Mr. Wangchuk said in his tweets and videos that the Indians should “USE [their] WALLET POWER” instead of relying solely on military might to defeat Beijing.
India’s Prime Minister Modi has vigorously pushed the concept of boycotting foreign firms’ goods and urged the nation’s 1.3 billion people to look for local alternatives as part of its drive to make India “self-reliant” and revive the slowing economy.
It will be interesting to see how much this sentiment impacts business offline and online. It will certainly have an effect on Indian startups as lot of investment comes from China. We will keep updating more developments on the same.