Extended list of banned apps in India

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Increasingly frequent border tensions between India and China gave rise to another set of banned Chinese apps in India. As of Sept 2nd, as many as 118 apps have been banned, which also included previously banned 59 apps (Hindustan Times).

Some of those banned apps are prominent Chinese apps that were developed or authorized by Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba. In addition, it also included generic apps such as web browsers, music players, beauty cameras, Ram boosters, and games among other such apps.

Apps such as PUBG mobile and App Lock were some of the most widely used apps with tens of millions of MAU (monthly active users). However, banning Chinese apps since June this year has had severe impact on these apps’ user base and it gets much more apparent after looking at the graph taken from App Ape. The below graph shows high churn rate of MAU over the past few months.

That being said, PUBG mobile game developer Bluehole Studio has made efforts to distance itself from Tencent games by releasing a statement on its website stating their intentions to no longer authorize the PUBG MOBILE franchise to Tencent Games in India and to reappear in India as a South Korean company.

The statement also mentioned that the South Korean game developer will continue to adhere to strict privacy laws (PUBG).

On the other hand, some of the diverse range of apps have also been banned in the extended list of banned apps. Apps such as CamCard – business card reader, ShareSave by Xiaomi – an e-commerce app, VooV meeting – Tencent Video Conferencing app. The data from the below graph also shows concerning trend of significant loss of MAU starting from June, 2020 as these apps have also been found to be breaching of individuals privacy and security.

This level of disruption in the Indian app market has triggered waves of non Chinese apps developers to persistently pursue the lost MAU away from these banned apps by replacing them with apps that hone similar feature set.

As discussed in the previous article some of those apps have failed to succeed, but other apps that have been released in the wake of Chinese app ban, have enjoyed a sharp increase in the number of MAU in a very short time.

For instance, InShare developed by InShot Inc has managed to Gain a staggering +6000% and ShareAll earned 2000% in MAU within the span of 2 months, which is nothing short of an achievement. Since, InShare and ShareAll are similar to ShareIt in terms of file sharing and transfer features, it also attracted a huge following from Indian users. Therefore, it is safe to say that it is anybody’s game at this point.

However, the second most popular app in terms of rise of MAU in the month of August was REFACE- face swap videos. And, it has gained as much as +5000% MAU. Although it is not a direct replacement app to any of the 118 banned Chinese apps, it mimics Deep Fake features of TikTok.

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