Days after the Indian government decided to ban 59 apps developed by Chinese companies, a majority of them have now been taken down from Apple and Google’s respective stores. A total of 54 apps were taken down from the Google Play Store, while including Shareit, Kwai, and Club Factory. Four apps — Likee, Bigo Live, Viva Video, Vigo Video — were also take down, but their “lite version” was still available. An app called YouCam Makeup was yet to be taken down at the time of publication. While the Cam Scanner app was removed from the Play Store, its license worth Rs 130 could still be bought from the store.
“While we continue to review the interim orders from the Government of India, we have notified the affected developers and have temporarily blocked access to the apps that remained available on the Play Store in India,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. Bytedance owned apps — TikTok, Helo, and Vigo Video — had vanished from both the app stores on Tuesday itself.
Not all the 59 banned apps had an iOS version. From the apps that were present on Apple’s App Store, 4 apps — Clash of Kings, Xender, Vault, and We Meet were still available. QQ Player was available on the Mac App Store. While Kwai wasn’t available, an app with the same icon and developer as Kwai’s was also available, although, all the information for this app was in Mandarin.
Availability status of the banned apps on Google and Apple’s app stores (at the time of publication):
|Kwai||Down||Similar app with text in Mandarin available|
|Clash of Kings||Down||Available|
|DU battery saver||Up||Wasn’t available|
|Likee||Down (Lite version available)||Down|
|Mi Community||Down||Wasn’t available earlier|
|CM Growers||Not Sure||Not sure|
|QQ Music||Down||Not sure if app was ever available on App Store|
|QQ Newsfeed||Down||Not sure if app was ever available on App Store|
|Bigo Live||Down (Lite version available)||Down|
|Mi Video Call – Xiaomi||Down||Not sure if app was ever available on App Store|
|WeSync||Down||Not sure if app was ever available on App Store|
|ES File Explorer||Down||Wasn’t available on iOS|
|Viva Video – QU Video Inc||Down (Lite version available)||Down|
|Vigo Video||Down (Lite version available)||Down|
|New Video Status||Down||Not sure if app was ever available on App Store|
|Cache Cleaner DU App studio||Down||Not sure if app was ever available on App Store|
|DU Cleaner||Down||Not sure if app was ever available on App Store|
|Hago Play With New Friends||Down||Down|
|Cam Scanner||Down (License available)||Down|
|Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile||Down||Not sure if app was ever available on App Store|
|Wonder Camera||Down||Not sure if app was ever available on App Store|
|QQ Player||Down||Available on Mac App Store|
|QQ Security Center||Down||Wasn’t available on iOS|
|QQ Launcher||Down||Wasn’t available on iOS|
|U Video||Down||Not sure if app was ever available on App Store|
|V fly Status Video||Down||Down|
|DU Privacy||Down||Not sure if app was ever available on App Store|
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology late Monday night had decided to block 59 apps, all from Chinese companies — including TikTok, Shein, Clash of Kings, Shareit — based on information that these apps were “engaged in activities which [are] prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”. The blocking order has been issued under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. The ban had come amid heightened tensions between India and China.
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