Ban on Chinese apps boon for India-made apps

Among the apps banned by the Indian government, popular video-sharing app like TikTok has been holding a monopoly in the domain that it functions

By Author  |  Published: 1st Jul 2020  12:04 amUpdated: 1st Jul 2020  12:30 am
Chinese apps
A journalist sprays black paint on placards with logos of Chinese apps during a protest organised by Working Journalists of India, in New Delhi, on Tuesday. — Photo: AP

Hyderabad: The ban on 59 China-made applications will prove to be a blessing in disguise for Indian-origin apps that have been struggling to compete. Among the apps banned by the Indian government, popular video-sharing app like TikTok has been holding a monopoly in the domain that it functions. Other apps include SHAREiT, UC Browser and WeChat. Citing national security, the central government has banned these apps that either have Chinese interest and/or parent Chinese companies.

Speaking about how this ban is a small step towards popularising Indian apps, Rishi Khare, founder and CEO, Thrymr Software said, “China-made apps have the benefit of huge capital dumping along with high marketing strategies. Meanwhile, our Indian apps lack investment which in turn makes them unsuitable to compete with the neighbouring country’s apps. In such a scenario, this ban will surely provide a good opportunity for the 4-5 Indian companies that are building similar apps to make it big.” Thrymr is a software development company with focus on web, mobile, analytics, machine learning, blockchain, and RPA solutions.

Indian apps like ShareChat, InMobi and others have similar offerings like the banned Chinese apps and have been in the market for a long time. However, due to low funding and policy support from the government many of these apps could not become very popular. With this ban, experts hope that the right kind of India-made apps will get the opportunity to grow.

“Indian startups have a lot of good ideas and apps but have no VC funding or investment. This leads to lack of visibility even though the product is suitable for the Indian market. With this ban, we hope that Indian solutions will be able to penetrate among the consumers and can be offered at an affordable cost,” said Ramana Telidevara, founder and CEO, CodeTantra — which is an edtech company and has developed an alternative for Zoom app.

“While Covid-19 was one such disruption point, the ban is another for the ecosystem. Indian startups can see this as an opportunity and try to fill the gap left by the banned Chinese apps in the market,” said Yatin Kavishwar, co-founder, Awiros.

One of the major issues with Chinese apps is data privacy and security and most of the apps have faced allegations of stealing data. Experts believe that with the ban, consumers can be relieved of having their data getting stored in India itself. As a cautionary note, Khare says that just the ban will not change the scenario and we need a more consolidated effort from the government in order to encourage more Indian apps.


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