Mitron, Chingari, ShareChat — here are few alternatives to banned Chinese apps in India
The Indian government on Monday banned 59 Chinese mobile applications, including top social media platforms such as TikTok, Helo, and WeChat, to counter the threat posed by these applications to the country’s “sovereignty and security.”
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Monday invoked its power under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act to ban these apps, and termed their usage ‘prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state, and public order.’
The growing tension between India and China, following the clashes at the border two weeks ago, is also a reason behind this move by the government.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which earlier started the ‘Boycott Chinese goods’ campaign, also complimented Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Government of India for such a massive step of banning 59 Chinese applications.
Many are lauding the move, considering it as an opportunity for the homegrown apps, and a massive step towards the PM’s war cry of “Vocal for Local.”
YourStory list a few alternatives for the banned Chinese apps across different categories.
Social media and entertainment apps
Banned app - TikTok, Kwai, Helo, Likee, Weibo, Bigo Live, U Video, Hago, Vigo Video, Viva Video
The latest entrant in the short-form video platform world is the homegrown Mitron app. The app gained much popularity in India during the lockdown.
Launched in April 2020 by Shivank Agarwal and Anish Khandelwal, the Mitron app is hailed by many, as India’s answer to TikTok, and has clocked more than five million installs within the first month of launch.
Within just two months of its launch, the app crossed one crore downloads on Google Play Store, with a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
Bootstrapped as of now, Mitron’s growth so far has been purely organic — without any marketing expenses and campaigns.
Another homegrown video-sharing app is Chingari which recently crossed more than 2.5 million downloads on Google Play Store.
According to the platform, the short video-sharing app reached the milestone from 550,000 downloads in 10 days. Earlier, it had garnered about 500,000 downloads in about 72 hours.
Chingari pays a content creator based on how viral the video becomes. The app claims to be more rewarding than the Chinese app TikTok, as creators on Chingari get fame, as well as money for the content they upload.
The app is available in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, Bangla, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu. Chingari is available for free download on Google Play Store and iOS App Store.
ShareChat is an Indian regional social media platform developed by Mohalla Tech Private Limited. Founded by Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh, and Farid Ahsan, ShareChat has over 60 million monthly active users across 15 Indic languages.
Banned Apps - UC Browser, CM Browser, Apus Browser, DU Browser
Google Chrome is one of the widely-used browsers worldwide. As part of its core Google Mobile Services (GMS) package, the browser comes pre-installed on every Android phone.
The Alphabet-owned company continuously updates its Chrome to protect users from harmful websites and malware, keeping in mind the security and privacy of its users.
Another alternative to Chinese browsers is Mozilla’s Firefox, which has a dedicated ‘Tracking Protection’ feature that prevents websites from tracking its users. It’s ‘Firefox Monitor’ feature alerts users immediately, in case an email ID or password is involved in a data breach.
Banned Apps - ShareIt, Xender, ES File Explorer
Just like ShareIt or Xender, Files by Google is a file management app that helps free-up space, and can also be used to transfer files or apps from one device to the other. It also allows users to back up files to the cloud to save space on the device. As per Google, it is light, fast, and more secured.
Another alternative for the file-sharing app is Send Anywhere. It is used for cross platform sharing that allows users to send files from an Android to a Mac or Windows.
Productivity and Utility
Banned Apps - CamScanner, DU Battery Saver, Virus Cleaner, UC News, Parallel Space, DU Recorder, Clean Master, Mi Video Call
Notebloc is a free scanner app developed by a notebook company in Barcelona, Spain. It has a similar interface and customisation options as CamScanner.
Unlike CamScanner, Notebloc has a key feature that the app is prepared to carefully collect hand-written documents. It doesn't matter if the text is super dark or not, using its enhancement filters, the look of the photo can be improved to make it look as close to reality as possible.
For UC News
Inshorts is a popular news app that selects the latest news from multiple national and international sources and summarises them to present in a short and crisp 60 words or less format, personalised in both English and Hindi.
A pioneer in short-form content, Inshorts was founded in 2013 by three IIT students Deepit Purkayastha, Azhar Iqubal, and Anunay Pandey.
Bengaluru-based startup Lokal provides local news, classifieds, matrimony advertisements, and job listings, besides other important information in Telugu and Tamil languages, to mobile users of Tier-II and III towns, and villages of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.
Having realised the abundance of products in the metros, and its limitations in rural India, Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary founded the hyperlocal content startup Lokal during the summer of 2018.
For Parallel Space
Multiple App Cloner
Dual apps like Parallel Space allows users to run two instances of an app simultaneously. One of the best alternatives to this Chinese app is Multiple App Cloner developed by an Indian developer.
However, most smartphones today come with the ability to have dual apps which eliminates the need for a dedicated app like Parallel Space.
For DU Recorder
AZ Screen Recorder
AZ Screen Recorder is a high-quality screen recorder for Android devices that helps users to record smooth and clear screen videos. With a ton of features like screen capture, screen video recorder, video editor, and live stream screen, the screen recording app provides an easy way to record screen videos such as video tutorials, video calls, game videos, live shows, and videos that cannot be downloaded.
For Mi Video Call
Airmeet is a homegrown virtual meeting and online event platform. The Bengaluru-based startup recently raised $3 million in funding to push its offerings in the aftermath of the pandemic that forced widespread event cancellations.
With Airmeet, the cancelled events can now go online, and at a large scale. The platform can host up to one million live attendees and let them seamlessly interact with each other, thereby replicating the networking atmosphere of an offline venue.
Until recently, Google’s premium video conferencing product Meet was available to G-Suite users only. It meant that only paying customers could start meetings, but anyone could join one.
Now with the demand for virtual collaboration tools hitting north due to the coronavirus lockdowns, Google Meet is free for all users.
For DU Battery Saver, Clean Master, Virus Cleaner, etc.
Android phone does not need any sort of antivirus software and can run smoothly and safely without the need for any of these apps. In fact, these apps occupy more RAM and memory, without deteriorating the performance of the smartphones.
Edited by Suman Singh