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India Returns With a Second Wave of Chinese Application Bans

By Bill Toulas / July 27, 2020

India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT has announced a new ban, adding another 47 apps in last month’s list, reaching a total of 106 now. The new batch concerns Chinese apps again, which were found to be following risky practices like transmitting user data to servers based in China.

In many cases in this fresh list, some apps were facilitating access to previously banned services like TikTok, for example, so we’re talking about apps that were providing an alternative means to users. In other cases, the same developers promoted essentially the same software under a different app name. For example, the banned “Cam Scanner” changed to “Cam Scanner Advance.”

As it becomes obvious from the above, Chinese app developers won’t stop trying to override the restrictions, and they’re more than willing to play the “whack-a-mole” game with Indian authorities in order to tap into the world’s second-largest market.

New Delhi, on the other hand, has a list of 275 Chinese apps to scrutinize in the following months, including the “Resso,” “AliExpress,” “Ludo World,” and the “PUBG” game. That is not to say that all 275 are going to be banned for sure, but the Indian government may continue along the same path.

Last month, India imposed the first wave of bans, including very popular apps like the UC Browser, TikTok, Club Factory, Weibo, ES File Explorer, and Clash of Kings. We have provided you with lists of alternative apps that you can use in India instead of those, which remains our only suggestion. Wasting time looking for ways to go around restrictions is futile, as you will soon have to do it again - which is illegal anyway.

The ongoing tensions between the two countries aren’t showing any signs of subsiding for the time, and there is still active military mobilization and political-level combat. This creates nervousness for companies like Xiaomi, which has captured the largest share (30%) of the Indian smartphone market, and PUBG, who counted 175 million installations in the country.

The list with the apps that could be banned in the near future contains 14 MI apps by Xiaomi, so the business disruption for Chinese companies in India can be substantial. Already, the fan-favorites Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and Realme may see their sales suddenly go down in India, to the direct benefit of Samsung.

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