Ban On Chinese Apps: How It May Impact TikTok, Other Companies

In a milestone move by the Indian government, the recently announced ban on 59 Chinese apps has shaken many in India, as well as in China. The Indian government instated this ban owing to national security concerns and the unscrupulous business practices deployed by the Chinese apps in the way they process user data.

With the growing border tensions among the two nuclear-armed adversaries, this ban did not come as a surprise. The recent border clash among the armed forces of both the nations further added fuel to the fire and has driven the Indian government to hit China economically.

List of Banned Chinese Apps

The 59 Chinese apps banned by the Indian government are as follows:

  1.   TikTok
  2.   Shareit
  3.   Kwai
  4.   UC Browser
  5.   Baidu Maps
  6.   Shein
  7.   Clash of Kings
  8.   DU Battery Saver
  9.   Helo
  10.   Likee
  11.   YouCam Makeup
  12.   Mi Community
  13.   CM Browsers
  14.   Virus Cleaner
  15.   Apus Browser
  16.   ROMWE
  17.   Club Factory
  18.   News Dog
  19.   Beauty Plus
  20.   WeChat
  21.   UC News
  22.   QQ Mail
  23.   Weibo
  24.   Xender
  25.   QQ Music
  26.   QQ Newsfeed
  27.   Bigo Live
  28.   Selfie City
  29.   Mail Master
  30.   Parallel Space
  31.   Mi Video Call – Xiaomi
  32.   WeSync
  33.   ES File Explorer
  34.   Viva Video
  35.   Meitu
  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
  43.   Hago
  44.   CamScanner
  45.   Clean Master
  46.   Wonder Camera
  47.   Photo Wonder
  48.   QQ Player
  49.   We Meet
  50.   Sweet Selfie
  51.   Baidu Translate
  52.   V Mate
  53.   QQ International
  54.   QQ Security Center
  55.   QQ Launcher
  56.   U Video
  57.   V Fly Status Video
  58.   Mobile Legends
  59.   DU Privacy

As you can see, the list of the banned apps in expansive. The government stated that these apps are a threat to India’s free cyberspace as these apps transmitted user data to servers that are located outside India’s sovereign borders. This move can prove to be a big blow to China’s silk route ambitions as it eradicates these companies valuations to a huge extent.

What This Ban Means For TikTok and Other Companies

This milestone move comes as a result of the military standoff between India and China. This move narrows down the growth of Chinese tech companies and significantly hampers their revenue prospects. Additionally, this move can also embolden other governments around the globe to follow similar footsteps and ban other Chinese apps in their countries.

In India alone, TikTok’s download stands at 611 million, that represents around a third of its entire user base. This will also have a profound effect on ByteDance’s (Parent company of TikTok) $110 billion valuation. The USA is also scrutinizing the app’s practices and it would be fair to say that we can expect a similar route from the USA as well.

What does This Ban mean For Start-ups In India?

18 out of 30 unicorn start-ups in India have Chinese funding in some way or the other. The ban leaves out the payment giant PayTm and India’s most valuable start-up, Byju’s, that have Ant Financial & Tencent as their primary investors.

This rising anti-China sentiment among the Indian population could lead to a decrease in the capital flow from the PRC and may hurt Indian start-up’s growth trajectories. The ban is eventually meant to hurt the bottom line of the Chinese economy but at the same time, it can have serious implications on the value of Indian start-ups as well.

TikTok’s management admitted that they are in the process of complying with the government’s ban and asserted that no data of any Indian customer has been shared with any foreign entity, including the PRC government.

When TikTok was banned for a week in 2019, ByteDance stated that it was losing more than INR 3.7 Crore per day, as a result of the ban. It is certain that this figure might have witnessed an increase owing to further penetration of the app.

Is the Ban Easy to Enforce?

Technology experts across the board are of the opinion that banning the apps won’t be easy. Enforcing a ban of this scale would require significant efforts from Internet service providers to ban the IP’s and Proxies associated with the apps and would also require Google and Apple to remove the respective apps from the Play Store & the App Store.

The experts also stated that even if these apps are removed from the respective app stores, users can still download the apps from the web. This can prove to be a security concern for users who may download malicious apps from the web and pose a tremendous risk to their security.

Since the apps are now removed from the app stores, users that are still using them may be prone to vulnerabilities that can hugely compromise with the user data security. Therefore, banning apps might prove to be half-thought out move that may affect the Indian start-up ecosystem on the whole. Investors from both nations are also stating that with the absence of Chinese apps, there would be a huge effect on the competitive sphere in the social media ecosystem.


India is in a process of tightening its digital borders and preventing any possibility of digital colonization. Although the ban is a signature move in India’s security interests, it must not be ignored that the Chinese apps flourished an era of ingenuity and promoted a landscape of competition on the digital ecosystem. It must also be kept in mind that we need to develop alternatives for the Chinese apps for users who are now looking for alternatives.

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