If the US government is bent on bringing Huawei to its knees through trade laws, India’s citizens are taking a different route to show their protest against China. A new app has landed on Google Play Store that singles out apps that originate from China as a response to a call for Indians to boycott software made by Chinese citizens. That call seems to have resounded strongly as the app gathered now over 5 million downloads in just two weeks.
The call came after tension and incidents rose at the border between the two countries. Education reformer Sonam Wangchuk described this as India’s dissatisfaction over how China has been handling the COVID-19 coronavirus. Along with many highly-publicized tweets, he put out a call to drop the use of Chinese apps, including the highly popular TikTok that has been catching governments’ eyes around the globe.
A startup based in Jaipur, India immediately took action and developed its Remove China Apps tool for Android. It officially presents itself as an educational tool for market research that identifies apps based on their country of origin. It says it also doesn’t promote that people remove any of those apps.
That, however, runs contrary to the actual name of the app which clearly suggests that Chinese apps be removed. The listing on Google Play Store also previously had a screenshot that allowed users to uninstall identified apps. It’s not clear if that runs afoul of any Play Store policy but it’s cleary it has gained massive support if downloads are any indication.
While it might be easy to quickly turn their backs on Chinese apps, boycotting Chinese-made smartphones might be a different question entirely. While India does have a stronger market of locally made phones than other countries outside of China, Xiaomi’s Redmi, Vivo, and OPPO still hold the lion’s share of the market there.