The government of India has banned 59 Chinese apps from the Google play store and Apple store considering the privacy and security concerns, with the backdrop of rising tension majorly with the northern neighbor. Putting into action the day later, a popular short video app was taken down from the app store. Along with other 58 Chinese apps including SHAREit, UC Browser, MI community, and more others. These apps now show errors and had stopped working completely for Indian users. India is a large and growing sector for many of the 59 Chinese apps banned in the country.
In India, these apps are accounted for 5% of the total installs approximately 330 million new installs in the April-June quarter. TikTok, the most popular among the app, 16.4 million new installs only in June. Overall, this app had over 200 million active users in India. This app is also popular among brand influencers and marketers. The Sensor Tower states that this app generated revenue of $9,24,000 from June 2019 to June 2020. This excludes the advertising revenue. Imagine including the Advertising revenue will go a lot higher!
TikTok earns a greater level of revenue from the Indian market, around Rs. 2.5 crores per day. So longer the ban stays, the longer they will lose the revenue. In this situation, the loss of reputation is at more risk than the loss of revenue. The ban can impact forthcoming investors. ByteDance, who owns TikTok and Helo, had said in 2019, that he is planning to invest around $1 million in India in three years.
Among the other apps, SHAREit, a free file transfer apps to share between the devices, Bigo Live, a live streaming app, and Likee, a video streaming app was also popular in India. Likee had several campaign engagement platforms where it has partnered with Salman Khan in 2019 to promote Dabang3. The Sensor tower claims that Likee made $776,000 in India through users spending time on the app.
Though the social applications caught an eye, the likes of UC Browser, CanScanners are also at large numbers. Alibaba- owned the UC Browser had over 130 million users in India and around 430 million active users all over the world. UC Browser stands for the second position in India after Google Chrome. Document scanning CanScanner was among one of the first Chinese app accepted by the Indian users. The app generates revenue from various ads and premium subscription plans and has over 100 million users in India and almost 4 million new installs in June.
India’s decision to ban the Chinese apps appears to be an effective way to impose the cost on china for what happened at the border in eastern Ladakh. India was eventually looking around indirect ways to respond to the Chinese provocation that takes place at the Line of Actual Control and then planned to hit china in its most delicate area, which is the technology sector but majorly it was for the security concerns. The apps were the highly used factors from where China pitch all the user’s data in India. It does not only provide short term economic benefit like blocking their source of revenue through these firms but also have a major impact on the long term economic benefits, such as marketing, advertising, blocking access of users data and research and development. Not only the apps but china will also get affected by the non-presence of Indian IT companies for business services and activities.
How will this ban impact the Users?
This ban has already affected millions of users. As the government has shown to China, that they can’t only remove the apps from the play store but also from browsers and websites so that there will be no possibility to update or reinstall from any other source. In the years, TikTok has become a platform to showcase their talents for all age groups and classes, this app was used by workers to housewives to constables. It has turned many ordinary people into social media stars. There were thousands of users who were making a living off the platform and some are even connected to their businesses abroad through apps like WeChat.