Best Alternatives For the Top 10 Chinese Apps in India

Smartphones have become a household product in India. What was once so inaccessible and considered a luxury can now be considered a necessity. We depend on our smartphones for our lives to function smoothly. We use them for everything these days, not just to contact each other. From ordering food to creating a video, our smartphones have evolved to allow us to do several things. This is in part due to the applications on our phones. Every app on your phone is carefully designed to make your life the easiest it can. We have food ordering apps, photo editing apps, mail tracking apps, security apps, gaming apps, and so many more. There is an app for anything you might need. 

In this world of applications, it is only logical that there are Chinese Apps as well. Chinese apps are plenty and make up a large share of apps in any store. Whether it be the Android Play Store or the Apple Store, there are Chinese apps available. Many of them have taken the Indian market by storm.

Most Indians today have at least one Chinese app on their phones. Around June 29th of 2020, the Indian government has banned 59 Chinese Apps in India. Among these are popular applications such as TikTok. There is a trend to the apps listed out by the government. They are either security and malware applications or those that track locations and information. Many beauty and photo editing apps are included in the list as well. 

The main issue with Chinese apps has been security. Ever since the apps started rising in popularity, the lack of safety and security the apps provide you has been scrutinised. The apps are said to not respect the privacy of its users, keeping a track of sensitive data. Due to these security issues, most have considered alternatives to these Chinese apps. Now it is time to actively use the alternatives.

Apart from the list provided by the government, there are apps that we use daily. Apps that you might not have realised are Chinese at all. These apps have taken over the market and hold integral roles in some of our lives. Here are the top Chinese apps in India 2020 and their alternatives: 

Also Read: Boycott China: Hypothetical or Practical?

List of Alternative Apps for the 10 Top Chinese Apps in India 2020: 

TikTok Alternative – Mitron:

TikTok became a global sensation, and India was no exception to this. It is a video-sharing app that allows videos up to one minute. Several well-known celebrities around the world and India are also on the app themselves. It was downloaded by millions of Indians, who then proceeded to bring the rating of the app down to 1.2 stars due to a controversy started on the internet. Despite the rating, the app remains one of the most used Chinese apps in India, and around the world. The alternative to this is the Indian app Mitron. Aptly named, the app is yet another short video sharing platform. The app now has over 5 million downloads and a rating of 4.7 stars. While initially caught up in controversy, there is no doubt that this app is India’s answer to TikTok. The app is available for both iOS and Android.

PUBG Alternative – Gareena FreeFire:

The popular gaming app was an instant hit in the Indian market. It has quickly become one of the most popular games in the country. Up to four players, play four different maps to fight enemies. An alternative to this app would be the Singapore based Gareena FreeFire. It is an multiplayer battle royale game, similar to PUBG, but exclusive to certain countries. As of November 2019, the game had grossed over 1 billion downloads, and the company is now set to launch a new version of the game Free Fire Max.

UC Browser Alternative – Google Chrome:

This is a mobile browser owned by the Alibaba group. In India, it is just second to the Google Chrome browser, which just so happens to be an excellent alternative for the app! This is one of the most used browsers in India, with apps available for both desktop and mobile. The app comes pre-installed on most Android phones making it easy to access and a safer alternative.

Helo Alternative – ShareChat:

This is yet another social media application. It allows users to communicate with each other and is used by over 40 lakh people in India. It is known to support several Indian languages and will enable users to communicate in their native language. A good alternative would be ShareChat, which is an Indian alternative app. Who better to design an app that supports our Indian languages, than Indians! ShareChat is an Indian app with over 60 million monthly users and over 100 million downloads. The app supports upto 15 languages! 

ShareIt Alternative – JioSwitch:

This is a well-known app that allows users to share files between phones, and even from a phone to a computer. A non-Chinese alternative to ShareIt is the Indian app, JioSwitch. This app also allows you to transfer files, however, is considered safer and more secure. The app is available for both iOS and Android and allows the seamless transfer of files from one phone to another. The app has grossed a 4.7 star rating in the Play Store as well as the Apple Store.

VMate Alternative – Triller:

This app is similar to TikTok. It is a video sharing platform that did not get as popular as TikTok. It remains one of the most used apps in India. A non-Chinese alternative is Triller, which is an American company. It is a social media platform where you can showcase who you are to the world, with over 100 million songs to choose from, flawless editing ability, and smooth video effects. It is available for iOS and Android, and has partners like Spotify and Sony Music. It has a 4.7 star rating in both stores and an average of over 805,099 downloads a month.

Xender Alternative – Google Files:

This again is an app like ShareIt. It allows you to share files between phones. You can send across photos, videos, and other data. A non-Chinese alternative for this would be Google Files. The web giant has thought of it all when it comes to your needs. It has released a file management and transfer app to help you as well. Not only can you transfer files from one phone to another, but manage all your files in one place and not have them scattered all over your phone. This app has a rating of 4.6 stars on the Play store.

CamScanner Alternative – Google Drive:

This remains an important app for most people, allowing you to scan photos and documents with your phone and share it. An alternative for this would be Google Drive, which comes pre-installed on most Android phones, has an in-built scanner for documents. This app allows you up to 15GB of free space, meaning you can access files anywhere without having to make several copies on each device. The app now comes with a scanning tool as well.

BeautyPlus Alternative – Facetune:

We’ll always love to touch up our photos. Even better would be to take the perfect selfie without having to edit later. This app allows you to not only edit your pictures but while taking your selfie as well. You can use filters, effects, edit your face, etc. An alternative to this would be an app like Facetune. This is an app that has blown up in the USA and is well known for its photo editing abilities. It allows you to edit, enhance, and retouch any photos you have. It is available for both iOS and Android phones. It has been downloaded over 60 million times.

UVideo – No Current Alternative:

This is another type of video platform known as a video status service. It allows users to download short videos that you can upload to your Whatsapp status. There is no legitimate app to serve as an alternative for this currently. 

Alternative Apps for More Chinese Apps

If you’re looking for alternatives to the Chinese apps mentioned in the report, then you’ll have to look no further, cause we have compiled a table that can give you simple options to all of the websites mentioned in the report. Since the ban has come into place, you will probably be using more than one of these alternatives:

Chinese ApplicationsAlternatives Applications
UC Browser, MI Browser, CM BrowserGoogle Chrome, Opera, TOR
SHAREit, WeSyncGoogle Files, JioSwitch
Xiaomi Mi Video-CallsGoogle Duo, Skype
SHEIN, ROMWe, ClubfactoryMyntra, Flipkart, Amazon
Baidu Map Google Maps
SelfieCity, WonderCamera, YouCam Makeup, Photo Wonder, BeautyPlus, Perfect Corp, Sweet Selfie, MeituPicsArt, Beautify, Facetune
DU Apps StudioNimble Droid, Appknox, UNLOQ
WeChatWhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger
360 Battery Saver, DU Privacy, Virus Cleaner (Hi Security Lab), Battery Doctor
Baidu Translate Google Translate
Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile, DU Cleaner, CacheClear, Virus Cleaner (Hi Security Lab), DU CleanerCC Clean, Norton Clean
ES File ExplorerGoogle Files, Amaze File Manager
QQ International Telegram, Skype, WhatsApp
QQ Security CentreDashlane Password Manager, Lastpass Password Manager
QQ MusicSpotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music, Gaana, Wynk
QQ MailGoogle Suite
QQ PlayerVLC Media Player
QQ LauncherNova Launcher, Microsoft Launcher
QQ NewsFeed, NewsDog, UC NewsGoogle News
Parallel SpaceShelter, Island, Clone App
Viva Video – Qu Video Inc.Adobe Premiere Pro, iMovie, Final Cut Pro X
Apus BrowserGoogle Chrome, Opera, Firefox
Mi CommunityFollow Mi on Social Media.
Mi StoreThe Play Store
Mail MasterMailshake, Slik, Lemlist 2.0
Kwai, Tiktok, Likee, Vigo Video, Vmate, HeloMitron
Mobile Legends, Clash of KingsFortnite Battle Royale
Bigo LiveYouNow, Persiscope
CamscannerAdobeScan, Google Drive
We Meet, We chatFacebook, Instagram, Whatsapp
V fly Status Video, U VideoNo current alternative available.
HAGO Play With FriendsHouseparty

Why isn’t PUBG banned?

Apps like PUBG have not made it onto the list of banned Chinese apps due to its affiliations with South Korea. PUBG is created and managed by a South Korean company called Bluehole and is distributed in India by a Chinese company called Tencent Holdings. With the app not being entirely Chinese, it was not banned.
It was not flagged as a threat by intelligence agencies that provided the list of apps to the government. All the other apps that have been banned have been cited as a security threat. PUBG does not pose a security threat.

Implications of the Ban of Chinese Apps in India:

The ban impacts a particular part of the population. TikTok and other social media apps had a large user base in the heartland. TikTok especially reached almost 119 million users in India alone. Like with any popular social media app, many of TikTok’s users were using it as a source of income. The influencers on the platform would regularly upload short videos and other content and make money. Many of these influencers had upto 38.5 million followers on the app. The only hope for them is to migrate to other social media apps such as Youtube and Instagram. This goes for those working in the offices of these platforms. Taking the example of TikTok, those working for the company will be losing their jobs in the middle of the pandemic.

The ban is also impacting the revenues of the companies directly. A lot of Chinese apps make most of their revenue from the Indian market. For example, Tiktok has most of its user base in India. While domestically and in other countries, it is still a huge hit, a large chunk of the revenue Tiktok generated came from India. Now with the ban, Tiktok and the other companies will be losing a lot of revenue. When there was a temporary ban of the app in April of 2019, they lost almost 15 million new users. This goes to show the affect a permanent ban would have on the revenue of the company. What the ban has done is significantly set back the progress of these massive Chinese tech giants.

In conclusion, the ban on Chinese apps in India is bittersweet. While a lot of us relied heavily on these apps, it was not worth the risk. A lot of Chinese apps have been exposed for gathering data and being a major concern regarding security. With this in mind, we should bid these apps adieu and look ahead!

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