Chinese App Ban and Startups

It’s undeniable that decisions taken at higher echelons of governance have a resounding impact at a grassroots level. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps in India is no different. Some of the apps banned are TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser, Camscammer, and ShareIt among others. An act taken to defend the sovereignty of India, one can see the ripples of this permeate through the masses across the country – from the disgruntled users who don’t see the politics behind the decision to the start-ups whose products competing with the Chinese versions shake hands with a boost in users out of nationalism.

Focusing on the latter, it would be pertinent to look at the ideals of the ban whose roots lay in the 2014 movement Make in India. The focus of the movement is in 25 industries including automobile, chemical, aviation, and others. Whether one agrees with the notions of the ruling party, the sentiment behind Make in India is clear in that the movement firstly hopes to increase utility of the Indian workforce and thereby help the economy grow. The Government had hoped to see an increase in employment and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in order to have more cash circulating among the populace and as a result, leave the Indian citizens more prosperous. The success or failure of Make in India is debatable, and yet these effects can be seen occurring as a consequence of the Chinese app ban.

Chingari App:

A Bengaluru based app, Chingari, has seen a tremendous amount of success following the banning of its rival TikTok. In 22 days, the app had 10 million+ downloads and continues to expand its audience. Co-founder Sumit Ghosh noted the hiccups his team had to near constantly work on fixing. This included adjusting the servers to accommodate the large influx of traffic and so on.

In addition to having to reinforce the technology of the app, Ghosh has also marked that Chingari would be scaling up its operation and expanding the team. This creates jobs in a time that has been so uncertain for people owing to the global pandemic. This, along with unconfirmed reports of global VC investment and the app having garnered acclaim from the likes of Anand Mahindra are strong indicators of future success for the start-up.

Chingari is a microcosm of the impact of the ban of Chinese apps in India. From what the evidence suggests, it seems as though avenues are opening up for start-ups to impinge on the consumer base of the said Chinese apps. Jobs are being created in these companies and more people in India would find success. This contributes to the growth of the Indian economy. Click here for a story about the beginning of Webloom Solutions.

Chingari app crosses 10 million downloads
Here are some substitutions for Chinese apps:
  • TikTok – Chingari, Triller
  • Camscanner – Adobe Scan, Notebloc, Office Lens
  • ShareIt, Xender – Files by Google
  • VivaVideo – Adobe Premiere Rush, KineMaster, GoPro Quik
  • Helo, WeChat – ShareChat
  • UC Browser – Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer
  • Turbo VPN – Proton VPN, Thunder VPN
  • App Lock – Norton App Lock

Sources: Economic Times, The Hindu, India TV News, Business Insider, IBEF, Deccan Chronicle

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