Remove China Apps, an Android app that claims to identify China-made apps on your Android phone and remove them, has gone viral in India. The app is currently at the top spot of Google Play's top free apps list in the country and it has been downloaded over 50 lakh times since its launch on May 17. This development comes at a time when anti-China sentiment is high in the country, sparked by the novel coronavirus pandemic, India-China border dispute, and more. Another app playing on similar sentiments – Mitron – has also gained traction over the last several days and is being touted as an alternate to TikTok.
The creators of the Remove China Apps claim that the app is "developed for educational purposes" and it allows users to "identify" the country of origin of certain apps installed on their Android phones. However, as the name suggests, it only identifies apps that are developed by Chinese companies and users can further uninstall them through Remove China Apps if they wish to.
It is also noted that the app went live on Google Play on May 17 and since its launch, it has been downloaded by over 50 lakh users. The app has largely received positive reviews with 4.9 rating on the Google Play Store.
Apart from India, the app is also gaining popularity in Australia, where as per App Annie data, first reported by TechCrunch, the app has reached top five in Tools category.
Remove China Apps is free to download on Google Play Store. The app does not require a login to a function and users can simply select "scan" to identify the Chinese apps on their Android phones.
Notably, the Remove China Apps only seems to be detecting the apps installed by users from Google Play Store or other third-party app stores on their phones, and not the ones pre-installed on Chinese smartphone makers.
Moreover, the Remove China Apps is developed by the OneTouch AppLabs that has only this app listed on Google Play Store. OneTouch AppLabs claims that the company is based in Jaipur and the domain ownership site, Whois reveals that the website was created on 8 May. OneTouch AppLabs website also states that the company provides services in Android and iOS app development and hybrid app development.
The Remove China Apps is being widely downloaded at a time when anti-China sentiments are on the rise in the country. This sentiment is sparked by several controversies such as the YouTube vs TikTok row, India-China border dispute, and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Notably, a survey recently indicated that 67 percent of Indians hold China responsible for the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Therefore, due to these controversies, several Indians are now looking for alternatives to Chinese products and phone apps. Recently, another app called Mitron crossed over 50 Lakh downloads on Google Play Store, that many believe is India's response to China's TikTok, however a recent report indicated that Mitron app's source code was purchased from a Pakistani firm.
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