New Delhi: The central government on Monday evening banned 59 Chinese apps that risked the “sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order” by allegedly invading cybersecurity and user privacy. The list included some of the very popular apps like TikTok, UC Browser, CamScanner, ShareIt, Shein, Helo and more. Also Read - Mike Pompeo Confident Democracies Will Unite to Face China's Challenge
Government officials are also in talks with Indian internet service providers (ISPs) and telecom service providers (TSPs) to block all data traffic with these apps. Without internet access, all of these apps will become inoperable and without these critical security patches and developer support, it is advised for users to not retain any of these apps. Also Read - China Warns to Hit Back as Donald Trump Removes Hong Kong Special Status Over 'Oppressive' Security Law
Although it is not illegal if a user does not delete the app, Android and Apple users are now worried as to what they will use once these apps are removed from Google Play Store and iOS App Store. Also Read - Now, A Squirrel in US Tests Positive For the Bubonic Plague, Twitter Says '2020 Has No Chill'
While more details are awaited from the government, here’s a list of alternatives you can switch to right away:
UC Browser, CM Browser, APUS Browser, DU Browser
For browsing the internet, Chrome has been by far one of the best-rated for Android users and it comes preinstalled on all Google devices. Apple iOS users can also download Chrome, although the Safari browser is just as good enough.
Now would be a good time for transferring all important documents, pictures and videos to Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or any other cloud storage platforms.
For scanning documents to keep digital copies, one can simply shift to Google Drive, or use alternatives like Microsoft Office Lens, Evernote or Adobe Scan. Some phones also have their own pre-installed scanners.
TikTok, Likee, Viva Video, U Video, Vigo Video, Likee, Kwai, Bigo Live
Yes, this might be the end of the road for TikTok users in India, at least for the time being. However, there are plenty of other short video sharing platforms starting with Instagram, Dubsmash, Triller, to other Indian alternatives like Roposo, Chingari as well as Bolo Indya.
These file transfer apps were popular for the speed and ease with which one could transfer pictures, videos, movies, other files; without losing out on the quality. However, while one alternative is to simply upload files on Google Drive and share it with another user, there are other file transfer apps including Google’s Files, Send Anywhere, ShareAll etc.
Shein, ClubFactory, ROMWE
There are many e-commerce platforms that offer customers a wide range of clothing and accessories at reasonable prices. Some of the most popular one’s that do not ship products from China are Myntra, Koovs, Ajio, aside from Amazon, Flipkart and many others.
UC News, Newsdog, QQ Newsfeed
Most leading news agencies have their own individual app. Apart from them, Google News is a recommended news aggregator.
The ban is expected to have a severe impact on Chinese companies like Bytedance, and Xiaomi that have a massive user base of more than 50 per cent in India. Interestingly, while the Centre banned some of Alibaba group-run apps like UC Browser and WeChat, the popular e-commerce website AliExpress remains functional.