India and China locked in an ‘App war’

(BEIJING, 3 JUNE 2020): What’s in a name? Shakespeare probably would not have thought what his quote would mean in today’s highly competitive cyber world.

Now, an Indian start-up company’s ‘Remove China Apps’ went viral with over a million downloads before the App was pulled out from Google’s Play Store.

The App, developed by Indian firm OneTouch AppLabs an eight-year-old start-up company, gained considerable popularity in India owing to the strong anti-Chinese sentiment among a section of the people, as tension escalated at the border between the two Asian nations.

The top trending app in India, was downloaded by more than 5 million times since it was launched in late May this year and prior to its removal was ranked No.1 in India’s Android store for two days according to Data analytics company Sensor Tower.

The now pulled down App-enabled users to detect and delete with ease those Apps developed by Chinese firms.

It was apparently pulled from Google Play store as it was felt that it violated the ‘Deceptive Behaviour Policy’.

Bilateral relations

Chinese state run-Global Times news outlet said if the Indian government allowed the “irrational anti-China sentiment” to continue, it risks ruining bilateral relations and a “tit-for-tat from Beijing”.

The Remove China Apps claims to remove apps made by Chinese companies from smartphones and has a simple interface. When the app was downloaded and selected-click scan now- it gave a list of Chinese developed apps which include popular names like Tik-Tok, ShareIt, CamScanner and many more.

In April this year, India amended its foreign direct investment policy to enforce tougher scrutiny on Chinese investors in the World’s second-largest internet market.

India’s Prime Minister Modi is aggressively promoting the idea of making India ‘ Self-reliant’ and development of local technology and hope to give a big push to revive the slowing economy.

When launched, the app didn’t require any special consent-based permission. One-Touch Lab AppLabs website claims that the company provides services in Android and iOS app development and hybrid app development

However, the Remove China Apps is the only product that was listed.

Data analysts say, tens of thousands of Indians have uninstalled popular Chinese developed apps like Tik-Tok fanned by what they called frenzied nationalism.