Posted 7 months ago | by Ben Armstrong
China Practices Deceptive Business as Banned apps are Coming Back
Over the summer of 2020 India banned at least 59 Chinese mobile apps due to the vast amount of data collected by these programs – citing a “sovereignty and security” threat. This is catastrophic as India is the second-largest population in the world and an emerging market of mobile users.
In the last few months, India has been seeing an inflow of the same apps under different names, all of which are gaining traction and acting as a replacement for the illegal apps.
Kwai and Tiktok are video sharing apps that were banned, due to a sleuth of data collection scandal, but they came back as “Snack Video” by a company named Kuaishou in which Tencent has a stake.
Another entertainment app Hago, providing a game space for strangers, was also banned and replaced with “Ola Party”, possessing the same concept but lacking a few features of the original app.
It might be a legal loophole that they are exploiting to avoid another crackdown by India – for now.
China Doesn't Understand Where this is Going
India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT had recognized this issue and had taken the initiative to ban up to 47 of these knock-off apps, they strongly believe in eradicating these national security threats and will actively defend their platform.
“this should not be the case. If this is happening, we will take up the matter.”
China has been able to rise to economic might due to the fact that its products were welcome globally – but that is changing. Now China is resorting to dishonest tactics to reenter the Indian market – which isn't going to have a happy ending.
China is Hungry for Your Data
In the past, we know that the Indian market is a critical user base, as a partner at Link Legal, Santosh Pai pointed out:
“From a tactical perspective, it puts enormous economic pressure because these apps were heavily reliant on Indian markets.”
Pai also predicted the second coming of Chinese/Indian app where they will find new ways of infiltrating the Indian market.
“The new trend will be of the Chinese developers teaming up with Indian developers to mitigate political risk and launching the apps, as one does not need enormous amounts of capital to launch an app—anywhere between $2 million and $ 5 million is enough,"
What does it mean for the US?
We suspect less in the case of TikTok as Bytedance still has an 80% stake after the acquisition by Oracle. How the deal works between them and Walmart is still very uncertain.
We might expect a replacement for Wechat in the near future – and there is a good chance that it will face massive blowback.
In the longer-term, China is making some very poor choices. It can't maintain its economy by lying and cheating on the global stage – which is apparently the direction the nation is heading.
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