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How Made in India apps cashed in on anti-China wave


As India banned hundreds of popular Chinese apps last year, many homegrown apps stepped into the vacuum. Apps like Koo hit the bull's eye.

How Made in India apps cashed in on anti-China wave
The first wave of COVID-19, compounded by the border skirmishes in Galwan Valley, had led to a new low in India-China relations last year. As the clamour against all Chinese made products and services grew louder, the Indian government banned in three stages a total of 267 apps, including TikTok, CamScanner and PUBG mobile, among others, due to data security concerns.
Meanwhile, Indian startups had already started to develop their own apps to compete globally.
Here is a look at how Made in India apps like Chingari, India's answer to TikTok; Koo, the Indian app similar to Twitter and other others, have evolved over the last year.
Made in India Apps
  • According to the India App Market Statistics in 2021, there are over 155,238 apps on Google Play developed by Indian publishers. Google Play store currently has nearly 3,020,096 apps.
  • In terms of market share, Indian apps have a 5 percent market share with an impressive review rating at 3.73 stars compared to the global app rating of 3.46 stars.
  • The highest number of downloads of Indian apps are Moj, Truecaller, Meesho, PhonePe, Roposo, ShareChat, Dailyhunt and My Jio.
  • Not surprisingly, Koo, which had gained a lot of prominence and coverage after being supported by the Indian Prime Minister himself and other ministers is among the highest downloaded apps.
  • Koo saw over five million downloads in the past eight months and one million downloads this April alone.
  • Chingari, a short video sharing platform, has seen 700,000 downloads since its launch worldwide in November 2020.
  • Hinterland holds the key
    • The ban on Chinese apps resulted in Indian companies grabbing opportunities and eyeballs. As per a report by The Indian Express, the Chinese share dropped because of the ban. In 2018, Indian market share of companies in top 200 installs was about 37 percent.
    • After the ban, app downloads are driving growth with a lion’s share of 85 percent coming from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
    • Regional Languages Matter
      • Mobile app developers are now focusing on regional content compared to one language such as Hindi or English as it is the key to retaining users, especially short videos, news and even utilities apps.