The Ministry of Information Technology announced a ban on 59 Chinese apps from India over threat to India “in view of information available they are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”
The Chinese apps included TikTok, Shareit, Xiaomi’s Mi Community and Mi Video Call, UC Browser, ES File Explorer and CamScanner which have amassed millions of downloads from both Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
“Red flags from the intel” was the logic the government gave when it announced the decision. The ban was put in place under Section 69A of the IT Act read with relevant provisions of the IT (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.
The government cited security concerns with these apps earlier, too. The release asserts, “At the same time, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians.”
China and its products are already facing outrage and boycott in the wake of the border clash between the two nations in Galwan and several other areas of eastern Ladakh.
So, what are the alternatives now available for Indian consumers?
Let’s look at the list:
Banned Apps (Browsers)
UC Browser, CM Browser, Apus Browser, DU Browser
- Google Chrome – pre-installed on Android phones as a part of the core GMS package. It is safe to use (we trust Google!) and Covers basic features and syncs across all devices of a user.
- Brave–A new entrant which focuses specifically on a user’s privacy. Brave claims it does not track usage or store any data of the user.
Banned Apps (Social Apps)
TikTok, Kwai, Helo, Likee, Weibo, Bigo Live, U Video, Hago, Vigo Video, Viva Video
- TikTok has lost its biggest user base as the app gets banned in India. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. are a few safer platforms to go for. Alongside, these apps don’t require unwanted permissions on your smartphones.
- Instagram IGTV, Triller
- Indian alternatives like Roposo, Chingari, Bolo Indya and ShareChat
- Local app Chingari, which recently shot up to fame. At the beginning of this month, Chingari- a 100% India grown app had amassed one lakh views on the Google Play Store.
- India’s Zee5 is coming up with a TikTok alternative soon
Banned Apps (File Sharing/ File Manager)- Shareit, Xender, ES File Explorer
- Files Go by Google- It serves two purposes–Files Go not only acts as a file manager, but it can also transfer files or apps from one device to the other- in a light and fast manner
- Send Anywhere– Send anywhere can an excellent alternative to Shareit or Xender and can be used cross-platform, which means you can easily send files from an android to a Mac or Windows, at an impressive speed
- Jio Switch, ShareAll
- One can also try File Commander – File Manager & Free Cloud, Dropbox or even Google Drive
Banned App- CamScanner
Notebloc provides the same functions with a simple user interface and customization apps. Others are Adobe Scan: PDF Scanner with OCR, PDF Creator or Microsoft Office Lens – PDF Scanner.
Banned App- UC News, Newsdog, QQ Newsfeed
- InShorts, DailyHunt
- Also, one can install mobile apps for various news providers, including the Times of India. Alternatively, one can go for Google News
Banned App- DU Recorder
Most of the smartphones now come with an in-built recorder. Else, one can go for AZ Screen Recorder for recording the contents of your screen.
Banned App- Parallel Space
Dual Apps, Multiple App Cloner just in case your smartphone misses out the ability to have dual apps which helps in running two accounts of the same app.
Banned App- Mi Video Call
The end-to-end encrypted Google Duo is undoubted, the leader among video call apps. Other alternatives include Skype or WhatsApp’s in-built video calling service.
Banned App- WeChat
Banned App- QuickPic
Google Photos, Gallery Go
Banned App- Mi Community
Banned App- Baidu Maps
Google Maps, MapMyIndia
Banned Apps- Club Factory & Shein
- Our very famous and home-grown fashion brands like Myntra, Ajio, Jabong, Flipkart and many more
For DU Battery Saver, Clean Master, Virus Cleaner, etc.
Other Apps like DU Battery Saver, Clean Master, Virus Cleaner, etc. do more harm to our smartphones’ performance and eat up RAM and memory. It’s time to say goodbye to these fruitless apps.
This is a tremendous opportunity for Indian start-ups and home-grown apps to flourish well and launch their products as users will look ahead to Indian alternatives of such banned Chinese Apps. Let’s be vocal for our local apps.