The government has banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, as it feels these apps are "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of india, security of state and public order".
The Indian smartphone market is not only dominated by Chinese hardware, but also Chinese apps.
These apps have been developed by Chinese companies but are actively consumed in India.
1. TikTok: Perhaps one of the most popular Chinese apps in India is TikTok. It acts as the rival to American apps like Snapchat and Instagram. It is a short video app mainly meant for entertainment and has shot up in popularity in India over the last few years. It is owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance. As per data from Sensor Tower, TikTok has a billion plus downloads globally with more than 58 million downloads in April only. It clocked a global revenue of $2 million in April 2020. Its highest popularity is in India. Facing backlash against Chinese apps, TikTok received a large number of negative reviews around May 19 and 20.
2. UVideo: Another popular Chinese video sharing app, developed by Kwai, a Beijing headquartered company. It has more than 50 million downloads globally with 10 million downloads in April 2020. It is a major competitor for TikTok in China.
3. Helo: Another video sharing app which competes with TikTok is Helo. It has more than a 100 million downloads on the app store. Helo was launched by Bytedance the owner of TikTok specifically for the India market targeting the regional entertainment content segment.
4. PUBG: A game which took smartphone users in India by storm was PubG (Players Unknown Battle Ground). It managed to replicate the experience of Counter Strike on the mobile. Such was the level of addiction of the youth that many local administrations had banned the game in public places. It is owned by another Chinese tech giant Tencent, which runs multiple games on the play store. It also owns popular messaging platform WeChat which has a massive adoption in China.
5. UCBrowser: Chinese web browsing app UC Browser gained popularity in India with the explosion of Chinese smartphones in the country. It is owned by a company UC Web which is in turn owned by Alibaba. It has recorded more than 500 million downloads globally with 7 million downloads in April only.
6. Shareit: A file sharing application extremely popular in India. Its major use case is sharing large sized files like movies pictures etc. between smartphones directly. The biggest positive is it is much faster than Bluetooth and also ensures transfer of files without loss in quality. It has more than a billion downloads globally with 21 million downloads in April only.
7. CamScanner: Another utility app popular among Indians is CamScanner. It turns the mobile phone camera into a scanner and is used extensively for scanning official documents. The app is run by INTSIG Information. It has more than 100 million downloads globally with 8million downloads only in April 2020. While it is free for download, it contains multiple advertisements for revenue.
8. Club Factory: This is an online shopping app which has its headquarters in Hangzhou China. India is one of its biggest markets, with more than 40 million users in India. The platform is popular because of the deals and discounts that it offers.