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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Amid calls to boycott Chinese apps, ‘Remove China Apps’ crosses 5 million downloads; WeTransfer site blocked

In the past couple of days, a new app named ‘Remove China Apps’ has gained popularity and it has been downloaded more than 5 million by now, clearly cashing in on the ongoing anti-China sentiment. Since its launch on May 17, the app not only has 1.94 lakh reviews but also holds a 4.9 star rating and the top spot of free apps on the Google Play Store.

What’s more? The app is fairly easy to use. All you have to do is open the app, select ‘Scan Now’ to find all Chinese apps on your phone and then you can ‘Delete’ all the listed apps.

While the app makers named OneTouch AppLabs reportedly claim that it was developed for ‘educational purposes’ and allow users to identify the country of origin of apps installed on their Android devices, the app’s name clearly suggests otherwise.

Let’s not forget, the past few weeks has seen the anti-China sentiment sweeping off the Indian internet. From a tussle between YouTube and TikTok stars in India to people demanding the ban of the Bytedance-owned app, there has been a lot of back and forth. In fact, only last week, renowned engineer and educator Sonam Wangchuk appealed to everyone that Chinese products should be boycotted. It led course to a lot of people uninstalling apps, such as TikTok, that originated in China. Now with ‘Remove China Apps’, the trend has once again gathered momentum.

Apart from this, the recent development has it that after Chinese apps, the Government of India has blocked Dutch file-sharing site WeTransfer. For the unversed, the site for file transferring was used to send files up to 2GB in size without charge. Albeit, the government in a statement said, “In the interest of national security or public interest, the licensee shall block internet sites/uniform resource locators (URLs)/uniform resource identifiers (URIs) and/or individual subscribers, as identified and directed by the licensor from time to time.”

Interestingly, one needs to wonder how the removal of such apps will affect Indians because to say the least, the decision has far-reaching consequences. For now, all we can do is wait and watch!

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