Bengaluru: A week after the Government of India banned 59 Chinese apps on June 29 in retaliation against China’s aggressive attempts in Ladakh, various companies in India are reconfiguring their existing versions, and develop new ones to replace the banned ones.
Although the Indian app-makers were already poised a big digital leap, the Chinese action has made them aware of the urgency. The exiting Chinese companies focussed only on leveraging, building and increasing the Monthly Active Users (MAU) which gave them higher valuation.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government proactively exhorting bright students, the Indian youths are increasingly shifting from being just app- users to app-innovators.
In the short run, they are expected to shift wholesale to the existing platforms like YouTube and Instagram Reels which provide instant gratification in the virtual world. In the long run, they are bracing to take on both Chinese and other foreign apps.
In 2019, Indians spent around 5 billion hours only on Tik-Tok. The ban on this short-video app will effectively reallocate promotional budgets with the likes of Facebook and Google because the existing ecosystem of those companies are already strong in Indian markets.
As per a report by DAN-e4m Digital Report 2020, 28 per cent of the companies’ promotional budgets are allocated to the social media and 22 per cent to online video. “More than 90 per cent of the social budgets would be for Facebook and its offerings like WhatsApp and Instagram.”
Some of the home-grown apps that have shown a surge in downloads are Chingari, Mitron, Bolo Indya, Trell, and Share Chat.
Recently, the following apps have shown a spark:
Roposo: The five-year-old short video platform “Roposo” is a fashion social network owned by Bengaluru-based ‘Inmobi’ a mobile advertising technology company. This app has shown a sudden surge in its Daily Active Users (DAU), rising from six million to fifty million.
Mitro; It gained immediate traction on its launch. It did have some initial hiccups and was even banned by Google App Store. It, however, soon managed to bounce back and garnered 10 million downloads.
Immediately after the ban, the company promoted by two friends Shivank Agarwal and Anish Khandelwal managed to raise a seed funding of Rs. 2 crore from 3One4Capital and Let’sVenture and has touched 1.7 crore downloads. The users can upload videos in 10 different languages
Chingari: TheBengaluru-based Chingari, founded by Viswatma Nayak and Sumit Ghosh in 2019, is another indigenous alternative available in 8 Indian languages. It has already hit over 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store.
Trell: This Pulkit Agarwal-owned app is a lifestyle community vlogging commerce platform, also referred to as Video Pinterest for Bharat. It has also witnessed an enormous upsurge.
The Mumbai-based Bolo Indya, founded by Varun Saxena, is an infotainment app and has witnessed an enormous jump in user increase within the first 24 hours of the ban, with over 5 lakh installs.
Meanwhile, the Twitter-backed Sharechat has been downloaded by 100 million users.
Reliance joins the bandwagon:
Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has also entered the fray, making this sector more competitive by launching JioMeet. It is available on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store. JioMeet has already been rated as high as 4.8 on Apple App Store and 4.6 on Google Play Store. It has been downloaded 1 lakh times by Android users.