If you had analysed your purchase/ usage pattern of any given 24 hours before July, 2020 and chances are that you would have found yourself using an app that was either Chinese or had some Chinese stake in it. A number of events in the past couple of months led the Indian Government to take the extreme step of banning 59 Chinese apps. But the question that comes to mind is how effective it will be for the Indian economy, Indian app developers as well as Indian customers.
Analysing the impact on Indian consumers, since Chinese apps were such an integral part of Indian consumer’s daily life, one might initially face some difficulty in finding and using alternatives to these apps. On the other hand, the ban presents an opportunity to homegrown apps to develop and steadily but surely occupy the space vacated by the Chinese apps. As an example, ‘Chingari’ as an alternative to Tik Tok saw an exponential increase in its’ downloads within a few days of the ban being announced. From the point of the economy and the domestic app developers, what is required is for the government to take effective steps to create an eco system that will be conducive in terms of capital availability and institutional support for the Indian app developers.
Will the government be able to provide an advantageous ecosystem, will the app developers be able to develop competitive apps and will the customers openly accept them? These are just some of the questions that are playing on everyone’s mind. Only time will be able to tell which way will the answers go?
Let’s all wait and watch.
Written by: Dr. Reeti Agarwal