TikTok, Shareit, 59 Apps Banned by Government, Here's What You Can Use Instead

TikTok, Camscanner, UC Browser, and 56 other apps were banned by the government. Here's what you can use instead.

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TikTok, Shareit, 59 Apps Banned by Government, Here's What You Can Use Instead
Highlights
  • The government has banned 59 'Chinese' apps
  • Some popular apps that are banned include TikTok and Camscanner
  • We found alternatives for the most popular of the banned apps, for you

The government has just banned 59 apps, which are from Chinese companies, as potential threats to national security. It's not clear at this moment how the list of apps was created, and civil society groups like the Internet Freedom Foundation say that this ban might not be proper use of Section 69A of the IT Act. However, given the tension between India and China, it could take some time to resolve the issue, and if you're a regular user of one of the 59 banned apps, you're probably wondering what to do next.

You can see the full list of 59 banned apps here to see whether any of the apps that you regularly use have been included in the list. From the apps that were banned, looking at the conversation on social media, the ones that people are talking about and are most worried about are TikTok, UC Browser, Shareit, CamScanner, Shein, Mi Community, Club Factory, Xender, Mi Video Call, and WeChat. 

These are all highly popular apps, and it's not surprising that people are worried about how to replace their favourite apps, but we have some alternatives that you can try for each of these apps.

TikTok

There are a number of apps like TikTok including Indian alternatives, Mitron and Chingari. We can't really recommend either as they're still not well established, don't offer very polished experiences. Instead, you might be better off switching to Instagram for now, and in fact, many of the popular creators on TikTok already have a presence on Instagram as well.

Instagram on iOS | Android

UC Browser

Although UC Browser is popular in India, it's still far behind Chrome in popularity according to Statcounter, and that is a perfectly good alternative to use. Mozilla Firefox is another good alternative, which regularly introduces new features such as its own VPN, and so that's our recommendation.

Mozilla Firefox on iOS | Android

Shareit

A popular app to transfer files between phones, Shareit can be really useful, but worry not if you depended on the app a lot. For iOS users, the built in Airdrop function is an incredibly simple way of transferring different documents as long as you're inside the Apple ecosystem. For an Android user, Google's own Files Go is probably the best way to handle the same tasks, for now. It will help you manage your files, clean up space on your phone's storage, and transfer them without using data.

Files Go on Android

CamScanner

For long, CamScanner has been the app to use to scan documents using your phone. If you've tried to back up physical documents and books, you know how powerful and easy to use this app can be. However, of late, alternatives like Microsoft Lens and Adobe Scan has done a great job of filling the same role. Our pick is Microsoft Lens because it's just that little bit more user friendly, in our opinion.

Microsoft Lens on iOS | Android 

Shein

A popular platform for women's fashion, Shein scored points from its users for its large collection of reasonably priced, trendy clothes. Given how personal a matter fashion is, it's hard to give a specific recommendation for apps you can use in place of this one, but Myntra is the biggest fashion retailer in India, and that would likely be the easiest option for anyone to try.

Myntra on iOS | Android

Mi Community

Mi Community is the official Xiaomi Forum, and as such, there's no good replacement for this app if you're looking for Xiaomi news or updates from the company. Gadgets 360 can keep you up to date on the important news, but since the government's notice talks about apps, it's possible that the website will remain active.

Club Factory

A fashion, beauty and lifestyle e-commerce store, Club Factory offered a little bit of everything for people who wanted to shop for a lighter, a speaker, jeans, and dress shirts all in the same place, while looking for the best deals. While there's no single site we would recommend, Gadgets 360's sister platform Pricee lets you search for the same breadth of products and compare prices from different sites to find the best deals.

Pricee on iOS | Android

Xender

Like Shareit, Xender is also an app that allows you to transfer files such as your music or photos or other documents wirelessly without using data. And like Shareit, the ways to replace it are also fairly straightforward. If you're on the Apple ecosystem, then you can just use Airdrop, while Android users can use Files Go.

Files Go on Android

Mi Video Call

Xiaomi's own video calling and chat application, Mi Video Call is one of the 59 apps banned by MEITY. The good news is that there's no shortage of apps that can allow you to chat or call over the Internet — the most popular of which is of course WhatsApp. While there are other alternatives that you can use, it's pretty safe to assume that every person you want to talk to already has WhatsApp and so that's the app we'd recommend.

WhatsApp on iOS | Android 

WeChat

Much like the Mi Video Call app, WeChat is also easy to replace thanks to the wide range of call and chat apps that are available. Once again, we'll stick to our original recommendation of WhatsApp though, as the most widespread and well known application in this space, as it's almost certain that the people you want to talk to also use it, so you don't have to convince them to download another app.

WhatsApp on iOS | Android


WWDC 2020 had a lot of exciting announcements from Apple, but which are the best iOS 14 features for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Further reading: TikTok, UC Browser, SHAREit, CamScanner, Apps
Gopal Sathe Gopal Sathe is the Editor of Gadgets 360. He has covered technology for 15 years. He has written about data use and privacy, and its use in politics. He has also written extensively about the latest devices, video games, and startups in India. Write to gopal@ndtv.com or get in touch on Twitter through his handle @gopalsathe with tips. More
TikTok Banned: Government Bans 59 Chinese Apps Including Shareit, UC Browser, and WeChat
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