- The Department of Telecommunications had directed telecom operators to block access to the 59 Chinese apps
- Following the government’s interim order, some of the apps had voluntarily delisted from the Google and Apple app stores
Google has started temporarily blocking access to the banned Chinese apps that remained on the Play Store, the company said in a statement. “While we continue to review the interim orders from the Government of India, we have notified the affected developers and have temporarily blocked access to the apps that remained available on the Play Store in India,” a Google spokesperson said. While Apple hasn’t officially confirmed the same, the banned apps have disappeared from the App Store as well.
Following the government’s interim order, some of the apps had voluntarily delisted from the Google and Apple app stores. TikTok was the first to delist, alongside other Bytedance owned apps on the list — Helo and Vigo Video. In a statement to the media today, Bigo Technology owned Bigo Live also said it will be delisting from the two app stores voluntarily.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had directed telecom operators to block access to as many as 59 apps, but it wasn’t clear earlier if Google and Apple were asked to take them down.
According to reports, the government has sent notifications to the companies now and informed them that a hearing will be held. The ban will remain in play till such deliberations happen.
The ban has also led to users from these apps looking for alternatives. Indian alternatives like ShareChat, Roposo, Bolo Indya and others have reported above average growth in the two days since the app. Sharechat, for instance, said it got 15 million new users in the 36 hours since the ban, while Roposo got 10 million new users in the 12 hours since the ban.
Users have also downloaded apps like TikTok from third-party websites like APKMirror, with the website reporting downloads of TikTok almost doubling since the ban.