During the lockdown, while people were huddled in their homes, their screen time also skyrocketed. A study on media consumption noted that online media intake has surged by more than four hours since the lockdown, in comparison to an average of 1.5 hours in the pre-coronavirus period.
In its latest Global Market Index, App Annie revealed that India and Brazil were the two largest markets by app downloads in Q1 2020, with TikTok being the most downloaded app across Android and iOS platforms.
According to a report by app intelligence company Sensor Tower, Chinese and American apps dominated the downloads, where nine out of 10 apps on the list are owned by companies from these two countries.
Recently, Chinese app TikTok made headlines when its rating fell after netizens launched a ‘#BoycottTikTok’ campaign on social media platforms, to protest against the questionable videos posted on it.
Further, anti-China sentiment in the country has increased in the last few months due to India-China tensions, following which Google also removed the ‘Remove Chinese Apps’ from its Play Store, which helped users target Chinese apps in their smartphone and consequently remove it.
But despite all these controversies, Chinese apps remain popular among Indians. Here are some that are still widely used.
ByteDance-owned Helo, which started its service in India in June 2018, is a social media platform that focuses on Indian languages. The platform currently has more than 40 million users and supports 14 Indian languages, allowing users all over India to connect with friends and family in their native language easily.
One of the fastest cross-platform apps for Android, iOS, PC, and Mac, ShareIt allows users to transfer videos, photos, music, contacts, apps, and other files. The application uses a secure connection protocol and has transfer speeds faster than Bluetooth and NFC.The app has more than 1.8 billion users worldwide, with more than 600 million users in India and Indonesia.
Launched in India in 2016 by UCWeb, VMate is another short-video sharing platform. It allows users to share videos on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Last year in May, Chinese technology behemoth Alibaba invested $100 million in the app, in an attempt to take on the growing social video app market.
In less than half a year, the short-form video creation app has gone from 1.5 billion to over two billion downloads. In fact, India has been the biggest driver of TikTok installs, generating 611 million lifetime downloads so far — nearly a third of the app’s overall downloads.
According to Sensor Tower, TikTok topped the list of most downloaded non-game app worldwide in May.
PUBG Mobile is one of the most popular mobile games in the country with over 600 million users. The battle royale game is operated by Tencent Games, which is based in China. The gaming app appeared at the top spot worldwide last month in terms of revenue.
The multiplayer game reportedly garnered over $226 million in May ― a rise of 41 percent compared to the same month last year.
Developed by UCWeb, UC Browser is a mobile browser. It is among the top mobile browsers in India after Google Chrome, and claims to offer the fastest downloads on a mobile device.
Owned by Alibaba Group, it was said to be the eighth most downloaded mobile app from 2010 to 2019.
The app was launched in in April 2004 as a J2ME-only application. It is now available on a number of platforms including Android, Blackberry OS, iOS, Windows phone, and Microsoft Windows.
CamScanner is a widely used scanning app that allows users to scan images and documents. The app was under scanner in August 2019 after being found to be loaded with malicious malware that would display intrusive ads on Android devices. The app was removed from Play Store, but was reinstated later.
Developed by Chinese company Meitu, BeautyPlus is a photo editor and selfie filter app. It allows users to edit their images, add effects filter, and more while taking a selfie. Several surveys suggest that over 50 percent of users edit their photos using this app before posting on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
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