Banned Chinese apps re-entered India in new avatars
Numbers of new Chinese apps have flooded Indian app stores in the last few months including several rebranded versions of applications banned by the government in recent months citing threat to national security. For instance, Snack Video, launched by Tencent-backed Kuaishou, is similar to Kwai, an earlier offering by the Chinese company that was banned in June.
Snack Video, which has already amassed significant number of Indian users, is also replicating features of the banned popular short-video app Tik-Tok, owned by ByteDance. Similarly, the banned Hago app, which allowed people to create chat rooms with strangers and also play games with them, has been replaced by an app called Ola Party. While the new app does not offer the gaming option, it has imported the sign-in as well as the existing profile, friends and chat rooms from Hago.
In some cases, Indian users are reporting that banned apps like the chatting app Mico, although removed from app stores, continue to function on phones where it is pre-installed. “If we try to access other banned apps, which are already installed on the phone, they show a blank screen, but that’s not the case for Mico,” said one user.
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