Eighteen months since the Indian government took a historical decision to ban Chinese mobile apps, the country has witnessed major changes in the mobile app sweepstakes. With such a move by the government, Indian publishers who had only a 20 per cent share were able to get a larger percentage of the ranking. As of now, 60 per cent of the top ten apps on App Annie are owned by Indian publishers. On the contrary, the market share of Chinese apps has dramatically reduced.
Why Chinese apps were banned?
India and China have grown from being rivals to enemies. The Modi government, with the outbreak of Covid-19, realised that China and its Communist regime were up to no good. By early 2020, China had begun flexing its muscles along the Indo Tibetan border. This was reason enough for the Modi government to bring down the hammer on Chinese interests in India. Earlier reported by TFI, relations between China and India have now grown sour beyond rapprochement. With the Galwan valley clash of June last year, in which 20 Indian soldiers were martyred fighting off Chinese little emperors, India had waged a lethal anti-China economic campaign, beginning with the banning of all major Chinese apps in the country.
Chinese apps dominated the market share before the ban
Before the government pulled out the Chinese apps in 2020, Chinese apps used to flourish in India and other countries as well. According to App Annie data, in May 2020, 50 per cent of the top 10 app publishers across all segments were Chinese.
The Chinese gaming app PUBG, for instance, was an overnight sensation with over 34 million Indians playing daily and downloads hit over 175 million. Indian publishers had only a 20 per cent share and, the top was NIC, thanks to the Arogya Setu app.
TikTok dominated the social media space and successfully took on Facebook with its short videos with over 119 million subscribers in a short period.
Indian Apps made the best of the Chinese App ban
However, despite the worldwide craze for Chinese apps like Tiktok, PubG and many more, China had to face a huge setback after India pulled out their apps. The market share of Chinese apps in India has dropped substantially from 44 per cent in 2018 to only 29 per cent in 2020, as per a China Internet Report 2021 (by South China Morning Post).
With the fall of Chinese apps in the market, Indian publishers managed to get a larger share of the ranking. Based on the latest September data of App Annie, Indian Publishers who only had a 20 per cent share in 2020, are currently holding 60 per cent of the top ten apps in India that includes MX Taka Tak, Moj, ShareChat, Josh and Public among others.
Moreover, the App Annie report has also referred to India as the top market globally for social app downloads among various categories of social, social networking and communication across iOS and Google Play in H1 2021. The report stated that India is the top market by a factor of 5x, surpassing the US in 2018.
Thus, the Chinese app ban by the Indian government has turned out to benefit the nation exquisitely. However, under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, India still has so many victories to witness.