comscore Chinese apps no longer popular in India post ban, Indian apps grow though
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Chinese apps lose stance in India after being banned during lockdown

Chinese apps started losing dominance in India after more than 200 apps were banned citing security and privacy issues in 2020, which primarily involved COVID-19 lockdown.

Google Play Store on Galaxy M02s

Representational Image: Search box in Google Play Store


In 2020, the Indian government banned hundreds of Chinese apps in India that closed doors on some of India’s beloved apps. However, this gave several Indian developers a chance to shine and we did see a bunch of notable alternatives; some of them topping the charts in terms of popularity. The numbers don’t lie as the Chinese apps ban did help locally developed alternatives eat into the former’s market share.

A new report proves the whole situation further as it is now revealed that Chinese apps‘ shares have dipped a significant amount. Also Read - India bans 43 more Chinese apps over security concerns

Chinese apps no longer dominate

The recent AppsFlyer report suggests that the shares of top Chinese apps have come down to 29 percent in 2020 from 38 percent in 2019. This appears like a significant dip for the apps have arguably ruled the app market and been quite popular globally, especially in India. Also Read - PUBG Ban: 21-year old student hangs self after not being able to play game

The reason attributed to this is the prominent ‘geopolitical’ tensions between India and China, which eventually led to a ban on a number of Chinese apps in the country and of course, to promote the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ vision. The reasons for the ban are cited as security and privacy issues, which act as quite a reason for people to turn against these apps. Also Read - PUBG Ban: China asks India to “correct its mistakes” after imposing ban on 118 apps

To refresh your memory, among the 200+ Chinese apps that were banned, there were pretty popular names such as TikTok, PUBG Mobile, WeChat, Weibo, CamScanner, Beauty Plus, and many more.

Indian apps get the spotlight

While the new report is no good news for the Chinese apps, it is for the ones that are ‘Made in India.’ Indian apps grabbed the opportunity taken from Chinese apps and entered the app business in abundance. This is when a plethora of them came into existence, the very reason why Indian apps have dominated in 2020 with a 39 percent share.

This mainly involved the arrival of Indian alternatives to the apps that were no longer available in the country. Names like Chingari, ShareChat, Bolo Indya, MX TakaTak, Say Namaste, and many more came into the limelight and became quite popular, which was visible due to the growing installs.

Not only this, apps from countries such as Russia, the US, and even Germany cashed in on the losing dominance of the Chinese apps and grew slightly.

Tier-2, Tier-3 cities giving the most traffic

It is also revealed that people living in the tier-2 and tier-3 places, mostly semi-urban, accounted for the maximum users of the apps in India, 85 percent to precise. Apps in the Gaming, Entertainment, and Finance categories became quite popular.

Sanjay Trisal, country manager, AppsFlyer India, said, “With app marketers increasingly expanding their remit to cover tier-2 and tier-3 regions, the demand from semi-urban areas is firing up India’s app consumption. In this highly diverse and fragmented marketplace, personalised content is critical to engage and retain customers.”

While people began trying out news apps, the urge to get rid of many other apps increased. It is revealed that the ‘Day-1 uninstalls’ increased to 27 percent in 2020. This means that people uninstalled more apps within a day of installing it. Even the overall app retention rate fell by 12 percent for mainly the shopping, food & drink and travel apps.

It is suggested that people in India prefer apps that are low in size and occupy lesser space on their smartphones, ask for lesser data, and are much easier and faster to use.

It is further revealed that India recorded around 7.3 billion app installs from January 1, 2020, to January 30, 2020, covering 4000+ apps.

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  • Published Date: February 16, 2021 11:42 AM IST



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