India Cracked Down on Chinese Apps - Many Still Thrive Under the Radar

Rest of World found at least eight of India’s 100 most-downloaded free apps to be from Chinese companies like ByteDance, Xiaomi, Alibaba, and Joyy.

Over the last two years, the short-form video app, Tiki, has helped fill the void left by the 2020 ban on TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps in India.

During the first half of this year, the app ranked as roughly the 10th most popular social app in India by downloads.

Since its launch in February 2021, as many as 96% of Tiki’s lifetime downloads have been from India.

Tiki’s CEO and co-founder, Ian Goh, has frequently used the tagline “Make in India” to describe the app’s impact.

In one recent interview, Goh suggested the platform was meeting the needs of “real Indian content creators.”

The app’s tagline mirrors the Narendra Modi government’s flagship “Make  in India” initiative to boost manufacturing in the country.

A Rest of World audit of the Google Play store indicated that at least eight of the 100 most-downloaded free apps in India may be owned by large Chinese parent companies.

Each of these companies was targeted in the bans on more than 320 Chinese apps by the Indian government over the past two years.