Making a social media app for India is hard

“Uninstall China Apps. TikTok, PUBG, Helo, Shareit, UC Browser, Vigo Video, Beauty Plus, Cam Scanner, Club Factory, Zoom. China is earning crores of money per day by above apps. You should uninstall these apps as soon as possible from your mobile & ask 10 friends to do the same. Shall we start this from today? This challenge makes sense in the current situation. Accept the Challenge! … #BoycottChina…We must…if we can. I did my bit.”

That’s from a WhatsApp forward that had made its way to one of our newsletters a couple of months ago. What seemed like a feat of delusion back then is now a reality. On Monday, the government of India, citing data security reasons, banned 59 mobile apps made by Chinese companies, including social media apps TikTok, Likee, Helo, Bigo Live and Vigo, file-sharing app Shareit, e-commerce apps Shein and Club Factory, mobile game Clash of Kings and image-scanning app CamScanner.

In the past three days, I have spoken to a bunch of people in the tech and media business about this ban and, unsurprisingly, not one said that there is any substance to this order.

Cover image by Gleen Ferdinand from Pixabay.

The Morning Context has raised money from a clutch of investors, entirely in their personal capacity. It is quite likely that some of them may be directly or indirectly involved in a competing line of business similar to the companies we write about. Our full list of investors is here.    

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