As the relation between India and China is becoming bitter day by day due to the tension at Ladakh Border, the Indian government started breaking of business relations with China slowly. First Indian Railway canceled a 470 Crore INR contract with a Chinese company back on 17th June 2020. Followed by another ban imposed on Chinese Android apps by the Indian government on 29th June 2020. Indian Government banned 59 Chinese Mobile based applications, which include some very popular apps like TikTok, Helo App, WeChat, UC Browser, etc. The reason behind this imposed ban has been explained by the Indian government officials, that theses apps possessed security threats and threats related to data theft; to maintain the country’s sovereignty and security such a step has been taken.
Whatever the reason is, whether it is due to the border clashes going on in Ladakh against China, or it is to maintain the security of the Indian mobile users’ data privacy or to show China an anti-economic move against them in order to get an upper hand upon them; the banning of Chinese apps is going to affect the economy and millions of users of those apps directly and indirectly. In this article, we would be discussing all kinds of effects of banning such Chinese apps on the Indian economy and Indian users. I would also be catering points according to my understanding and logic, so in some of the points, some readers may not agree. So, let’s roll with it.
How Legal the Banning of the Chinese Apps was?
While the government of a democratic country took an official decision, there are very slim chances of the decision being illegal. The government stated that those 59 apps were engaged in such activities which are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order”. So the ban had been imposed under the section 69A of the IT Act 2009, which provide the power to the government of “Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of any specific set of Information by Public” Also an official allegation has been registered on this matter where it has been cited that “various personal and usage data of the Indian users are being transferred to abroad without authorization”.
What are the actual Reasons behind the Ban?
- The actual reason is something that you have to analyze yourself. As the Geo-Political situation between Indian and China getting worse every day, there a reason for Non-Cooperation to arise which would make the Chinese government realize how important our market is for their own country’s economy. So, it could be a step towards putting a blockhead in the way of China’s digital silk route.
- There can another reason, where the Indian government just wants to warn the Chinese Government, that we can ban any of their products anytime and we can still live with alternative products. So, we are not depending upon them for all the consumer products and services.
- One reason can also be where the Indian government is just taking pseudo steps against China, as there are still many other Chinese Products are coming into our country everyday worth of billion dollars. Also, many other Indian companies and government organizations still have multiple ongoing partnerships and contracts worth more than a billion dollars in total with many of the Chinese Private Companies. The reason behind this camouflage move can be that in the current economic situation due to the COVID-19, India does not want to be engaged in a war with China, so such pseudo but strategic moves are being considered in order to shift towards a economical & psychological warfare against China.
- Another reason behind this step can be promoting the Indian app developers with the tag of “Make in India”. Due to the prior presence of Chines Software giants, Indian developers were not being able to gain any space in the competition, but in the cover of such Geo-Political clash, the government just banned the Chinese apps where even the avid users of such apps would support the government in the name of patriotism, and the way for the Indian app developers will become smooth and clean.
Though According to top officials of the Indian Government, “We have considered all the aspects before taking such step. These apps have been there for a long time, and there are some privacy and security issues with them including risks of data going out of the country”. Also according to the Ministry of Communication & IT, “We have been receiving several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers outside India”. While there are almost 450 million smart users are there in India and almost 330 Million users are using various Chinese app by not knowing the security threats, it is a step which has been under discussion and consideration past couple of months.
Also, you should keep in mind that no government would say the truth about any surgical or diplomatic move against their enemy until the goal is achieved. So, the government officials are saying the truth, or it is just a light and pseudo move against China to grow a Psychological war pressure, only time can tell that.
Which Chinese Apps are banned in India?
Though only 59 Chinese apps have been banned, almost all the big brands and most popular Chinese apps are on that list. Also, you should know that there are lots of apps still in service in India, which are Chinese made, but not banned yet. Here is the list of the banned apps.
4. UC Browser
5. Baidu map
7. Clash of Kings
8. DU battery saver
11. YouCam makeup
12. Mi Community
13. CM Browers
14. Virus Cleaner
15. APUS Browser
17. Club Factory
19. Beutry Plus
21. UC News
22. QQ Mail
25. QQ Music
26. QQ Newsfeed
27. Bigo Live
29. Mail Mast
30. Parallel Space
|31. Mi Video Call – Xiaomi
33. ES File Explorer
34. Viva Video – QU Video Inc
36. Vigo Video
37. New Video Status
38. DU Recorder
39. Vault- Hide
40. Cache Cleaner DU App studio
41. DU Cleaner
42. DU Browser
44. Cam Scanner
45. Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile
46. Wonder Camera
47. Photo Wonder
48. QQ Player
49. We Meet
50. Sweet Selfie
53. QQ International
54. QQ Security Center
55. QQ Launcher
56. U Video
57. V fly Status Video
58. Mobile Legends
59. DU Privacy
I have checked for the above-listed apps on the play store, though most of them are unavailable in the Play Store in India right now, some of them are still the Play Store and the download option is still there like Shareit, Kwai, UC Browser, etc.
Effects on Indian Economy
- The first one is about the indigenous app developers of course. The user of such apps now look for alternative apps, and if the Indian app developers, can provide them the same taste and reliability with performance & security, then the market of such apps and the revenue from such applications would stay within India, which in turn will boost the economy. Also, such need for India made apps, would make less competitive and healthy paths for the upcoming software startups and innovators.
- India made apps would be by default based upon India, so chances of security theft are quite slim with such apps. As India made apps won’t be reporting to some third party server situated in abroad. So, if such security concern arises, investigating and pinpointing the criminals would be easier.
- India made apps now have to comply according to the user needs, as they are going to face loads of new downloads and they are going to have a lot of users from now on. So, the quality of India made apps have to be improved, which will make India made apps of World Class quality, and in turn, slowly Indian apps would start revenues from abroad and it will bring foreign currencies towards India hence boosting the economy.
- Indian IT giants like TCS, Wipro, Infosys can now start working on indigenous apps for the internal emerging markets, which will lead such companies towards developing commercial software and applications, which will provide enormous growth to the Indian IT infrastructure.
- As the chances of new start-ups opening, new projects getting started in pre-existing companies, and expansion of pre-existing teams in various micro-scale IT firms, new jobs are going to be created, which would help the country a little bit to handle the huge unemployment problem in our country.
As an example let’s talk about TikTok, we know TikTok is a very popular app for entertainers and entertainment despite various arguments. Now if we consider the number of features and performance provided by the TikTok app, then you would find the Indian alternatives such as Chingari or Mitron are promising but not up to the mark.
Now in the present scenario, if all TikTok, Vigo, Vmate creators/entertainers move towards the Chingari or Mitron app, the developers had to upgrade the apps according to the demand. Also, all the advertisements and brands from TikTok or Vigo would move towards the Indian alternative apps due to popularity and the number of users, which would create revenue within India, for Indians by Indians.
Also, I do not think Indian government banned the Chinese apps due to security reasons, as there are many other European made and American made mobile apps and PC apps and even Websites are available including Facebook, who are stealing user data and store them in remote servers, in order to analyze those data so that they can do target based advertising. But, none of those applications got banned yet. For such allegations, you can read about the matter of Facebook-Cambridge Analytica controversy on the net. But neither the Facebook app nor the website got banned, then why the Chinese apps. So I think it is a Pseudo move from our government to warn China and to build a Psychological pressure over Chinese corporate companies, which is not working until India impose a complete ban on all kind Ind-China business. But, the truth is such Ind-China’s complete business ban is not possible so easily due to India’s own industrial structure.