News & Analysis

Chinese App Ban: Unpaid dues, layoffs and uncertainty

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In the backdrop of the rising tensions on the Indo-China border, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps including the likes on TikTok, UC Browser, Club Factory, CamScanner, and more on the ground of national security and sovereignty.

Keeping the politics part aside, this move was lauded by many as most of these apps failed to control the content shared via them and also because of the reports of many of these apps involved in issues like stealing data and sending it back to the Chinese servers.

Bytedance, TikTok’s parent company, is expecting a loss of over $6 Billion and is looking to be looking for ways to restructure its corporate structure. It is even mulling the idea of establishing its office outside China to remain relevant for both the US and especially India.

On the other hand, Alibaba’s subsidiary UCWeb is looking to wind up its operations in India and has reportedly laid off 90% of its staff based out of its Mumbai and Delhi offices. The company claims that it has given a minimum 30 days’ notice to the impacted employee but is the murmurs are to be believed the company was looking to exit India for almost 6 months, the app ban has only helped their cause and it is also being said that the employees have been axed immediately without any advance notice.

Chinese eCommerce store ClubFactory is said to have suspended payments of Indian vendors till the time the ban is not lifted even though vendors have delivered the goods to the consumers. These are just a few instances which have made their way to the headlines, however, other Chinese companies that have been directly impacted by the ban are looking for wind up their operations from India leaving thousands of people jobless during these testing times.

While Indian app market has seen a flurry of applications (or rather replicas, in some cases) trying to encash on the void created by the absence of TikTok, Xender, CamScanner etc. Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has stated that India has created over 200 mobile apps post the ban and the country aims to become the number one mobile phone manufacturing hub in the world.

Though self-reliance is the way to go, however, no one knows if there will be any sort of assistance provided to the people who’re directly impacted due to the ban?

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