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This article was published on July 2, 2020


Google and Apple boot 59 banned Chinese apps in India from their app stores

Google and Apple boot 59 banned Chinese apps in India from their app stores
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Two days after India banned 59 Chinese apps over security and privacy concerns, these apps are removed from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. These apps included some major names such as TikTok, WeChat, UC Browser, and SHAREit.

Just after the ban, Bytedance pulled out its apps, TikTok and Helo, from both stores and stopped these services to comply with the government’s order.

While Bytedance voluntarily pulled its apps, the latest removal of apps seems to have come from Google and Apple. We’ve asked these companies for more details, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.

Google said in a statement that the company hast temporarily blocked access:

While we continue to review the interim orders from the Government of India, we have notified the affected developers and have temporarily blocked access to the apps that remained available on the Play Store in India.

Out of the list of 59 banned apps, we searched for at least 20 apps on both App Store and Play Store, and found them missing. These titles included UC Browser, Shareit, Shein, Cam Scanner, WeChat, and Bigo Live. 

What’s more, sites of these apps have also been blocked by internet service providers in India. Strangely, despite not being one of the banned sites, DuckDuckGo was also blocked in India yesterday.

To take advantage of this situation, multiple Indian startups are rushing to ship alternativesto popular apps like TikTok, Helo, and Camscanner.

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