Google recently removed an Indian-made app called Remove China Apps from Google Play. As its name suggests, the app is designed to scan a phone for Chinese-made apps and delete them from the device.
The app was developed by an Indian startup known as OneTouch AppLabs and was made available for download in May. In just two weeks, the app was downloaded and installed on Android devices a total of five million times, and included apps such as TikTok in its list.
To be fair, the app doesn’t automatically delete all Chinese-made applications, and users are presented with the option of manually deleting the apps. Additionally, the app itself isn’t very accurate in its detection; PUBG Mobile, which is developed and distributed by the Chinese company Tencent Games, was reportedly not identified by the app, along with several other China-made apps that come bundled with some Chinese-made smartphones.
And while China will undoubtedly rattle its sabre at India for the creation of this app, it also cannot discount the fact that its neighbour is also one of its important markets. Case in point, ByteDance, the company that created TikTok, counts India as one of its biggest overseas markets.