Take China Off App Takes Off Millions Download Until Google Stepped In
Take China Off App, Takes Off, Oppo, Realme & Huawei Face Massive Backlash
It was so popular that Google had to intervene, an app that scanned smartphones and identified Chinese developed apps attracted millions that was until the Android maker stepped in and took the software down from their Play Store.
The app was developed by Indian developer OneTouch AppLabs and over four days millions of Indian nationals moved to rid their smartphones of Chinese developed software that many feared captured data and were security risks on their devices.
The bulk of the devices that the software was downloaded to were from Chinese brands Oppo, Realme, which is one of the Chinese Companies biggest markets and Huawei device
As of the first quarter of 2020, Chinese smartphone makers made up more than 70 per cent of the Indian market, according to Counterpoint Research. Chinese apps have also made major inroads in the country. All these brands and the same apps that Indian nationals want to strip off their smartphones are available in Australia.
At one stage Chinese brand Oppo was bragging that they were the third largest smartphone provider in Australia an issue that was disputed as the #3 brand in Australia is Alcatel.
For a short period the Take China Off software was the most popular on India’s Google Play Store before Google stepped in.
Hannah Bailey, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, said the three biggest concerns around the spread of such apps were censorship, data security and the potential for computational propaganda and dissemination of a pro-Beijing agenda.
At this stage it’s not known whether Victorian Premier Dan Andrews who is now being referred to as Comrade Andrews or by some Chairman Andrews because of his love of China and all things Chinese, is now using a Chinese branded phone which if he is, could be a security risk claim some observers.
according to App Annie, another app data provider, Google’s policies forbid Android apps that help people to delete or disable other apps.
The Financial Times claimed that the popularity of Remove China Apps, which promised to alert users to any Chinese-made apps on their phones, comes after unease over the influx of Chinese tech companies and a move by New Delhi to tighten foreign direct investment rules for Chinese firms.
Indian engineer and reformer Sonam Wangchuk called for a boycott of Chinese products.
In his social media feeds and in recently made video’s he advocates that that Indians should “USE [their] WALLET POWER” rather than rely solely on military force to beat Beijing.
India’s prime minister Narendra Modi had also spoken about the importance of self-reliance, said Mr Sharma. Both Mr Wangchuk and Mr Modi were mentioned by the developers behind Remove China Apps.
Mr Sharma said because the device checked for the installed application package rather than details about storage or location, there were no apparent issues with the app from a security perspective.
Shenzhen-based internet giant Tencent’s battle-royale PUBG mobile, as well many pre-installed apps on Chinese smartphones as seen as major risks both in India and Australia.
OneTouch’s website only said that the country of origin was discovered “based on the market research” but did not guarantee accuracy.
Mitron, a TikTok rival that reached 10m downloads in India in a month and a half, was removed this week from the Google Play Store amid accusations in the Indian media about security flaws and recycled code. “Developing an app that is secure, with a focus on privacy and an interactive user interface, takes a lot of effort and testing,” said Mr Sharma.