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  Technology   In Other news  01 Jul 2020  Save the list: Indian apps to replace the 59 banned Chinese ones

Save the list: Indian apps to replace the 59 banned Chinese ones

Published : Jul 1, 2020, 8:44 pm IST
Updated : Jul 2, 2020, 7:40 pm IST

Many of the Chinese apps have several Indian alternatives. For others, there are the Big Tech ones.

The ban on Chinese applications offers an opportunity for India’s tech ecosystem. (Photo | Flickr - Limelight Leads)
 The ban on Chinese applications offers an opportunity for India’s tech ecosystem. (Photo | Flickr - Limelight Leads)

As a reprisal to China’s incursions into Indian territory, the Narendra Modi government has banned 59 Chinese apps because they were allegedly "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order". A majority of these apps were popular amongst India’s 500 million internet users.

India is the fastest growing consumer internet market in the world, with 19 billion downloads in 2019. That positions India as the second largest market for app downloads. But does aatmanirbhar India have the alternatives to these apps that can quickly fill the space vacated by the Chinese apps?

 

We scoured App Store and Play Store and found that there were indeed several Indian alternatives to most of the banned Chinese mobile applications. The ban on Chinese applications offers an opportunity for India’s tech ecosystem. 

TIKTOK / KWAI / HELO / LIKEE / BIGO LIVE /VIGO VIDEO / VMATE

Prominent among the banned Chinese apps are video-sharing social media platforms that have colonised the Indian internet market place in recent years. ByteDance’s Tik Tok is the most popular one among them, downloaded over 1.5 billion times on App Store and Play Store.

Bigo Live is the second most popular video-sharing app in India after TikTok. Bigo Live covers more than 100 countries and is owned by a Nasdaq-listed Chinese company, YY. It is estimated that India accounts for 60 million of its 200 million users worldwide.

 

Similarly, Beijing Kuaishou Technology’s Kwai grew to 200 million daily users on 2019.

Likee is a video-sharing social media platform created by Bigo Technology. In 2019, it was acquired by the Chinese live broadcasting firm YY Inc and was rated as one of Google Play’s Best Entertainment Applications. Helo is also owned by ByteDance, and supports over 14 different Indian languages and has over 5 crore Indian users.

Vigo Video too is owned by ByteDance. The application has over 100 million downloads around the world. It gained popularity because it paid users for creating content.

Vmate is a video creator app launched in 2017 and owned by Alibaba. It gained popularity among Indian users in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It currently has around 50 million active users.

 

Indian alternatives

Chingari: Chingari is a short video app like TikTok, available for Android and iOS in multiple Indian languages. Chingari pays its content creators depending on how viral a video becomes and awards points to users for every video they upload, which can be exchanged for rewards. The app also features trending news, entertainment and a variety of short videos that can be downloaded and shared.

Sharechat: Sharechat describes itself as India's own social network and is valued at $600 million USD. A Twitter-backed app developed by Mohalla Tech, Sharechat is available in 15 languages and has 60 million active users in India. The app encourages users to communicate in their preferred dialect and also offers Private Messaging, Shake-N-Chat and Open Tagging.

 

Roposo: This Indian content sharing and video creation app available in more than 10 Indian languages, offering content on comedy, religion, music and health. It offers a TV-like experience for users and was developed by three IIT Delhi Alumni. Available on the Playstore, the app has been downloaded more than 50 million times and has around 65 million Indian users. It provides channels like Haha TV, Beats, Look good- Feel good and Bhakti.

SHAREit / XENDER / ES FILE EXPLORER
Shareit allows users to transfer files including photos, videos, music, contacts, apps and other files between mobiles and PC, without the use of data for transfer.

 

Xender is an offline file-sharing and file-transfer app for videos, images and documents. Developed by Xender Digital Technology in 2011, it has grown to over 100 million downloads worldwide and is popular with Android users.

ES File Explorer is a file sharing/manager for Android devices developed by ES Global, a subsidiary of DO Global. The app and other products by DO Global were removed from Play Store in April 2019 for advertisement fraud

Indian alternatives

Shareall: Shareall is an Android file sharing application developed by the Indian startup Quantum4u Lab. Users can share files, movies, videos, apps etc with other Android phones without the use of the internet. The iOS and desktop web applications are in development. The app supports secure sharing with password protection and also cleans junk files, cache and duplicate files.

 

Z Share: Developed by Shravan Hegde from Dharwad, Karnataka, Z Share transfers files like images, videos and pdfs. Available on Android, the average speed of transfers is 6 mbps and has a rating of 4.9 on the Playstore. It has been downloaded over 100,000 times in just a few days.

UC BROWSER/ CM BROWSER / APUS BROWSER

UC Browser comes pre-installed with most Chinese phones. It was created by UCWeb, which is owned by the Alibaba Group. It rose to popularity as an alternative to Google Chrome due to its availability on different platforms.

CM is a mobile web browser owned by Cheetah Mobile, a Chinese mobile internet company. It became well-known for its secure dual-engine browser with a "browser intrusion prevention system".

 

Other browsers like APUS browser were popular for being lightweight, notable for taking less than 4 mb of space.

Indian alternatives

Jio Browser: t is a lightweight browser developed by Reliance Jio. The app has features like, dark theme, incognito mode, offline pages, QR code scanner, regional language support and desktop mode. This flagship Indian browser currently supports eight different languages with a home screen that displays local news content.

Bharat Browser: It is a browser created by the Bengaluru-based startup BlueSky Inventions. It was designed keeping in mind the needs of millions of first-time Indian mobile users. It also supports 9 Indian languages. Users can discover content from their own state, explore online shops, play games and the app also has a dedicated kids section.

 

BAIDU MAP
Baidus’ service is notable for its use of the BD-09 coordinate system that is based on the global standard of WGS 84. 

Indian alternative

MapmyIndia Move: This India mapping application uses ISRO’s Bhuvan satellite view. Its features include live tracking, live location analytics and navigation. Users can discover restaurants, events, malls and other locations and events nearby. The app also allows users to create trails of their favorite places and even become a neighborhood expert.

SHEIN/ROMWE/CLUB FACTORY

These are all fashion e-commerce platforms operated by Chinese companies. Shein is a B2C commerce platform whose operations in India were partially shut down in 2019 over illegal customs practices.

 

Romwe specialises in women’s fashion, with a focus on the Indian and Middle-Eastern markets.

Club Factory is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle e-commerce firm owned by Jiayun Data Technology, popular in India for its discounts and cheap prices.

Indian alternatives

Myntra: Myntra was founded in 2007 as an Indian fashion e-commerce company but was sold to Flipkart in 2015. Myntra offers the latest clothing and fashion for men, women and kids. The app now hawks a collection of over 2,500 brands and 5 lakh products, including gadgets, accessories and beauty products.

Flipkart: Founded in 2007, it started off as a true-blue Indian e-commerce company, but has now been acquired by Walmart. It is dominant in consumer electronics, fashion and lifestyle products. Available in 5 languages, the app guides users through a collection of 80 crore products, from mobile phones to furniture. The app also includes groceries, flight tickets, movies and daily rewards.

 

Snapdeal: This Indian e-commerce company started as a daily deals platform in 2010 but expanded into an online marketplace in 2011. Snapdeal offers 85 million products, daily deals, prizes and coupons to customers. The app offers delivery tracking and free shipping to more than 6000 cities in India.

AJIO: Owned by Reliance Retail, Ajio’s its in-house products are made in India. Apart from fashion, it also provides a handpicked selection of tech accessories and gadgets. The app features quicker check-outs, instant bank discounts and offers premium fashion brands.

CLASH OF KINGS
Clash of Kings is a Chinese online strategy game developed by Elex Tech in 2014. It has over 100 million players. 

 

Indian alternative

Ludo King: Based on the popular board game Ludo, this is an Indian free-to-play game created by Gametion Technologies. The game’s objective is to move 4 tokens from the starting point around the board towards the board’s centre. It is available on all platforms and is the first Indian gaming app to cross 100 million downloads. Users can choose between gameboard themes like Nature, Egypt, Disco, Candy and Christmas. It can be played offline vs bots, and supports up to 6 player local multiplayer modes.

DU BATTERY SAVER
It is a popular Chinese battery saver app created by DO Global, a Chinese technology company.

Indian alternative
There is no Indian alternative to the DU battery saver. Users should instead use the inbuilt battery saver application. 

 

YOUCAM MAKEUP / BEAUTYPLUS / SELFIECITY / MEITU / NEW VIDEO STATUS / WONDER CAMERA / PHOTO WONDER / SWEET SELFIE

YouCam Makeup is a picture-editing application that allows users to customise their pictures. It is owned by Taiwan-based technology firm PerfectCorp. Beauty plus is a photo and video editing app developed by Meitu Inc. It is popular for its manual photo retouch, editing features and its Facebook Video profile creator feature.

New Video Status is a video editing application primarily used to create short videos for Whatsapp and Tik Tok.

Wonder Camera is a selfie and photo editing application developed by Baidu. It allows users to customise photos with filters and other effects. Similarly, Photo Wonder, is a Chinese photo editing application owned by Yubitusoft.

 

SelfieCity is a photography and photo-editing app for high-quality selfies and filters. The app was developed by Meitu Limited. It is the largest selfie app maker in China. Similarly, Sweet Selfie is an image and video editing application developed by Hangzhou Gexiang Technology.

Indian alternative

Indian Selfie Camera: It is an Android image-editing application developed by PeakeCorp Inc. Users can take and modify pictures using different filters and effects. The app has features like beauty editor, live selfie, silent camera and live filters. The app works with both cameras and enables users to share their selfies on social media. The app has an easy-to-use UI and is updated regularly.

 

MI COMMUNITY
A community forum for users of Xiaomi products.

Indian alternative
There’s no Indian alternative for this application.

VIRUS CLEANER

It is a Chinese mobile antivirus application.

Indian alternative

K7 Total Security: Developed by K7 Computing, it is a multiplatform anti-malware and antivirus software. Its features include software firewalls and phishing protection. It also has anti-theft features, call blocker and a privacy advisor. The app also offers scheduled scanning and a web filter. In 2010 and 2011, K7 Total Security won the AV-Comparatives award for best antivirus.

NEWSDOG / UCNEWS / QQ NEWSFEED

Newsdog is a Chinese news recommendation platform aimed at an Indian user base. It provides short news bytes in over 10 Indian languages and has over 35 million active users.

 

UC News is a news outlet of UCWeb, a business within the Alibaba Group. The app is available in 7 major languages and 15 regional Indian languages.

QQ Newsfeed is a mobile-based news-sharing and communications application. It is a part of the Tencent QQ ecosystem.

Indian alternatives

InShorts: InShorts is a news aggregator that summarises news in 60 words or less. It also offers personalised stories, video and other content. The app also offers a variety of news and headlines sourced from multiple outlets. The app also has updates on competitive exams like UPSC, CAT and government job exams. Inshorts also has a home screen widget just for headlines.

 

DailyHunt: Formerly NewsHunt, it is a news and content aggregator owned by Verse Innovation. It provides local news content in 14 local languages from 3000+ content providers to over 330 million users. DailyHunt users can create profiles, post, share and comment on the news. The app also has a video section, horoscope section and job alerts

WECHAT
WeChat is one of the most popular multi-purpose messaging services, social media and mobile payments app in China. The app was released by Tencent and has more than one billion monthly users. It is one of China’s superapps because it integrates messaging, social media and payments.

Indian alternative

 

Hike Messenger: Hike is an Indian freeware instant messaging application launched in 2012 by Hike Pvt Ltd. It supports the use of stickers and is available on multiple platforms. It claims to have over 100 million users. Although not as comprehensive as Weibo, Hike offers Hikeland, where users can interact with friends and meet new people. Hike also offers the Big Screen, where users can watch shows and interact.

QQ MAIL / MAILMASTER

QQ Mail is an e-mail service provided by Tencent Holdings Ltd. MailMaster is an email service by NetEase Network Co. Ltd, one of China’s largest internet technology companies.

Indian alternative

 

There are no comparable Indian alternatives. Outlook is your option.

 WEIBO

Weibo is a popular Chinese microblogging website. It is owned by AliBaba and Sina Corp.

Indian alternative

There are no comparable Indian alternatives. Twitter is an American alternative.

QQ MUSIC

QQ Music is a freemium music service owned by Tencent Music, a joint venture between Tencent and Spotify. QQ Music is also an integrated music and entertainment service, offering concert tickets and exclusive song downloads.

Indian alternatives

JioSaavn: Originally Saavn, this multiplatform music streaming service announced a merger with JioMusic owned by Reliance. It has rights to over 5 crore tracks in 15 languages. It is well known for its access to Bollywood and regional Indian film music. In June 2020, JioSaavn updated its User Interface, adding AI based recommendations and homepage navigation tools to media content like podcasts. JioSaavn is currently redeveloping their podcast categories and content to compete with International rival Spotify.

 

Gaana: Gaana is a multiplatform commercial music streaming service owned by Times Internet. With over 165 million monthly users, it provides music in 21 languages from an Indian and International catalog.In December 2019, it became the first Indian streaming app to cross 150 million monthly users. This is because Gaana was the first to launch features like karaoke, voice assistant and automatic download options through the use of AI. Gaana recently also added a 3000 podcast strong library featuring youth icons.

 PARALLEL SPACE

Parallel Space permits users to log in to two different accounts simultaneously on an android phone, useful if you’re using two accounts for one app. The app was developed by LBE Tech, a Beijing-based software company

 

Alternative: Shelter

MI VIDEO CALL

MiVideoCall is a voice and video calling service by Xiaomi

Indian alternative

JioMeet: JioMeet is a multi-platform video conferencing application created by Reliance. It was launched in June this year to compete against Zoom, with a focus on B2B calls. It currently offers WebRTC support, meaning that it can be used without downloading the application. It also offers users the ability to consult doctors through video conferencing. Up to 100 people can use the HD video conference using JioMeet.

 WESYNC

WeSync by Tencent allows users to transfer contacts from an old phone to a new one. It contains additional tools to merge contacts, share address books and view the same address book on multiple phones.

 

Alternative: Google Contacts

 VIVA VIDEO

VivaVideo is a free community-focused video-editing application developed by QuVideo Inc.

Alternatives: InShot and YouCut

DU RECORDER

It is a Chinese screen recorder application, owned by DO Global. It allows users to record their phone screen.

Alternatives: Bandicam Screen Recorder, AZ Screen Recorder

VAULT-HIDE

Vault- Hide is a mobile encryption application that allows users to encrypt calls, contacts, videos and photos. It is owned by Chinese firm Wafer Co.

Alternative: AppLock-Fingerprint, developed by SpSoft, is a security app for photos, videos and apps. It offers fingerprint lock and even displays a fake error message as a security measure. It supports the use of different passwords for each app, as well as Wifi / Bluetooth based smart locking. It also supports the locking of incoming calls and screen locks while using certain applications.

 

DU CLEANER / CLEAN MASTER

This is a Chinese mobile cleaning application developed by DU Studios. It helps clear cache, a method used to store information so that it can be accessed quickly. Clean Master It is an mobile cleaner and booster developed for Android by Cheetah Mobile.

Alternative: There is no need for an alternative. The inbuilt cleaner app on most mobile phones is enough to do the job.

HAGO PLAY

Hago is a Chinese mobile social gaming application that allows users to meet strangers while playing games. It became popular for a feature that allows users to redeem points for rewards (shopping vouchers, mobile recharges). Last year, it was the world’s sxith most downloaded application.

 

Indian alternative

Hello Play: Hello Play is a live multiplayer gaming app developed by Mech Mocha Internet. It lets users sync their whatsapp, phone and facebook contacts to find new friends to play with. Games like Ludo, carrom and cricket are available with a video and voice chat feature. Avid gamers can play this game to earn free coins and rewards that can be redeemed for gift cards. It currently supports 7 languages - English, Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Bangla.  

CAMSCANNER

This is a mobile app that allows mobile users to scan photos and documents. It was developed by Instig in 2017. In 2019, cybersecurity company Kaspersky Labs raised flags over its use of an advertising agency that contained malware and spyware.

 

Indian alternative

Kaagaz Scanner: Kaagaz Scanner is a scanner app by IIT graduates to scan and share documents. The app offers three scanning modes, detects page edges automatically and shares the document on multiple social media platforms. The app can also scan multiple documents at once and does not insert a watermark.

QQ PLAYER

QQ player is a mobile-based media player developed by Tencent QQ.

Indian alternative

CnX Player: CnX Player is a video player app for videos and movies in all popular formats like MKV, MP4 and AVI. was founded by IIT Delhi graduate Munish Jindal, of PathWin Software Private Limited. The application supports 4k Full UHD / HDR with uninterrupted watching without ads. It also allows users to cast to their TV via Chromecast or Fire TV stick. Its WiFi Video Management feature allows the transfer of content from mobile to PC.

 

 WEMEET

WeMeet is a Chinese location-based social media dating application. It allows users to video chat with strangers.

Indian alternative

Quack Quack: Quack Quack is an online dating and matchmaking app with 9 million users. With over 18000 new users per day, Quack Quack is India’s first online dating platform. Quack Quack is free for basic features and the majority of users come from major Indian cities. The app also has moderators who screen and verify users.

BAIDU TRANSLATE

This is a translation application well known for its quick voice to text translation. A unique feature is its optical character recognition feature that allows users to translate text into a picture quickly.

 

Alternative: Google Translate

QQ INTERNATIONAL

QQ International is a chat and call service, offering online communication services like text messaging, voice and video calls. Developed by Tencent, QQ international is available in 6 languages and has 750 million existing users.

Indian alternative

Hike: Hike is a cross-platform instant messaging service developed by Kavin Bharti Mittal in 2012. The app offers news updates, social media sharing and is valued at $1 billion USD. It used to offer mobile payments until 2019. Although not as comprehensive as Weibo, Hike offers Hikeland, where users can interact with friends and meet new people. Hike also offers the Big Screen, where users can watch shows and interact.

 

 QQ SECURITY CENTER

QQ Security Center is a mobile antivirus software provided by Tencent QQ.

Indian alternative

K7 Total Security: Developed by K7 Computing, it is a multiplatform anti-malware and antivirus software. Its features include software firewalls and phishing protection. It also has anti-theft features, call blocker and a privacy advisor. The app also offers scheduled scanning and a web filter. In 2010 and 2011, K7 Total Security won the AV-Comparatives award for best antivirus.

MOBILE LEGENDS

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is a mobile multiplayer online battle arena created by Moonton Studios. The game rose to popularity in southEast Asia, and was chosen for the esports competition in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Mobile Legends settled with Tencent over plagiarism of League of Legends, a popular MOBA in North America.

 

Indian alternative

Ludo King: Based on the popular board game Ludo, this is an Indian free-to-play game created by Gametion Technologies. The game’s objective is to move 4 tokens from the starting point around the board towards the board’s centre. It is available on all platforms and is the first Indian gaming app to cross 100 million downloads. Users can choose between gameboard themes like Nature, Egypt, Disco, Candy and Christmas. It can be played offline vs bots, and supports up to 6 player local multiplayer modes.

DU PRIVACY

This is a mobile encryption software developed by DO Global, a Chinese technology firm.

Indian alternative

 

AppLock - Made in India: It allows users to lock any app on their phone using a fingerprint lock, pattern or PIN. Developed by Quantum4U Lab, the app is free to use and offers support in multiple languages. The app has anti-theft features, brief exit options and multi-theme options.

 

Tags: chinese apps banned, tiktok, chingari, camscanner, shareit, roposo, sharechat, xender, uc browser, mapmyindia, myntra, ajio, flipkart, snapdeal