In 2020, magical realism will be played out again and again in this world. This time, we’re talking about India, about two apps. The first app, called Delete China App, was developed by Indians to remove apps from all Chinese companies, and at one point jumped to number two on Google Play India download slots.
The second app, called Mitron, is an Indian clone of TikTok, which is popular in India and was once the number one download list for Google Play India.
Currently, however, both apps are being launched by the Google Play App Store.
Remove China Apps for China
China Remove Apps, by name, is a bad-hearted app.
The app went on the Google Play App Store on May 17 and received more than 1 million downloads, 140,000 reviews and a 4.9 rating over a two-week period, according to The View.
It’s only 3.5MB in size, only Android.
Functionally, the app can scan all apps installed on a user’s phone and identify apps developed by Chinese manufacturers, such as TikTok, Ali Express, UC Browser, WPS Office, AirBrush, and more common applications in India.
Even more curiously, it provides users with the uninstall option to remove the recognized Chinese-made app at a point.
Once the user is successful, it congratulates and reminds users to share – it seems simple, but very pandering to Indian users who are resistant to Chinese products.
On the social platform Twitter, many Indian users were able to express their enthusiasm for the app, including the hashtag “Boycott Chinese Products”, and many shared congratulatory pages after the app was removed from China.
These users even include actors from Bollywood, India.
Not only that, but on social platforms abroad, some netizens have summarized lists that show which apps can be used to replace apps from Chinese manufacturers, such as Chrome or Firefox for UC browsers, and Mitron or YouTube with TikTok.
The developer behind the Display China Apps is an Indian company called OneTouch AppLabs, which is registered in Jaipur, India.
In addition, the developer behind the incident may have been an Indian engineer who worked for a Chinese company, but he was fired during the outbreak.
In this way, this Remove China Apps is a derivative of the “boycott China” social trend that has been fostered in Indian folk.
After being taken off the shelves, Indians start scolding Google
However, when The Remove China Apps went on fire, they were targeted by Google.
On June 2,media outlet TechCrunch reported that the app had been taken off the shelves by Google for violating the Google Play App Store’s Deceptive Behavior Policy.
It is understood that under this policy, Google Play states that all apps on the shelf do not allow changes to the user’s device settings or do not act outside the app without the user’s knowledge or permission;
From this perspective, Remove China Apps can be said to have violated the policy in many ways – that is, it was removed by Google and not wronged at all.
But when the app was removed, Indians were unhappy;
One user named Pushp Raj questioned:
The Google Play Store seems to serve Only China, as Google not only removed more than 8 million negative reviews of TikTok to boost its rating, but also removed China Apps from the Play Store.
A user named Debapriya, who also launched Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO of Indian descent, expressed strong protest at the removal of Remova China Apps from the Play Store.
As an Indian, this is the last thing (we) expect you to do. You can take this app off, but can you take off my inner patriotism? Please put this app back on the shelf.
I don’t know what Sundar Pichai, who is of Indian descent, would think of this.
And netizens say that with Google removing the app, no one can be expected to be neutral, everyone has their own position, and Google has shown its position – choosing to stand with a billion potential users…
It’s worth noting that after Google removed the China Remove Apps, there were Also Indian users who shared the app’s APK installation package online, and some people launched apps with the same features and different names.
TikTok’s Indian clone, also dropped
In addition to The Remove China Apps, an app from India, Mitron, was also dropped.
Mitron, an Indian clone that can almost be described as TikTok, is similar in interface and functionality to TikTok, and is described by the media as the local Indian product launched in response to TikTok.
According to its official account, Mitron was developed by students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
Mitron fires in India amid local backlash and previous resistance, which has garnered 5m downloads in less than a month and topped India’s free download list on May 30th.
Soon, however, questions were raised about Mitron.
In fact, all of Mitron App’s source code, including its features and user interface, was purchased from Qboxus, a Pakistani software developer, according to Qboxus CEO Rfan Sheikh, which sells for just $34, or 2,600 Indian rupees, according to Indian media News18.
Rfan Sheikh says Mitron’s developers simply modify the logo and upload it directly.
Surprisingly, in addition to Mitron, there are a number of short video apps in the Indian market, such as TicToc (copied by Qboxus from TikTok), Follow (released in September 2019), KidsTok (released in December 2019), HotToks (released in December 2019), and so on.
In addition to the source issue, Mitron faces another major challenge: privacy.
In other words, privacy is not guaranteed by Indian users using Mitron.
Eventually, Google told themedia CNBC-TV18 that the app took it off the shelves because it violated its Play Store “Spam and Minimum Functionality” policy.
Of course, despite this, Mitron still exists in the form of APK installation packages.
There are also plenty of Mitron’s “Ghost” apps in the Google Play Store that let users get a false name, and some have specifically highlighted its Make in India label, as if it were trying to take advantage of some of the sentiments of the Indian public to get more users.
This, probably another kind of magical realism.