Aatmanirbhar Bharat in Digital India

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On the 29th of June, Government made the headlines by banning 59 apps having Chinese ownerships on the premise that it hurts sovereignty and integrity of India. Now, this has certainly made all the people go frenzy! 

China doesn’t allow any foreign app to enter its market; we just gave them the taste of their own medicine. Tit-for-Tat. But it would make more sense if we look at the situation holistically. Let me walk you through.

Positioning by Chinese

If you look at the verticals where Chinese entered, they tried to create a ‘niche’. For instance, look at TikTok, CamScanner, etc. You would hardly know any swadeshi alternative to these apps. But, they are!

On ground reality

The 59 apps were into Video sharing, File sharing, Browsers, Shopping, etc. Look at the verticals; think about swadeshi apps in this space. In some, they are as widespread as Flipkart and Myntra, in others, they hardly exist! Before this ban, did you know of Roposo, Mitron or Chingari? Yes, these are Indian alternatives to TikTok.

Unprecedented opportunity

Now, 200 million TikTok subscribers need a social media fix, consequently, they are moving towards these apps. These platforms are recording 400,000 downloads every hour! 

This is bound to happen, but I doubt if these people find Instagram as a better alternative, all of this amounts to nothing. We lose again! 

Imitation or Innovation? 

All of these apps are a clone of TikTok, imitating their User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) to become famous. Is there any innovation?

To sell a product, you need USP, do these apps have it? I’ll leave that up to you. These apps are on a funding spree and everyone wants a share! 

Indian scenario

We are mere users! Jio disrupted 4G, not through its portfolio of numerous apps. We have not been able to build a world-class ‘communications platform’. 

Anybody remembers ‘Hike’, a potential threat to Whatsapp; we have failed to make anything that big! 

Deep dive

Irrespective of the downloads, an app needs to have active users, the users should engage with the app at least once, daily or monthly. Otherwise, it is good for nothing. 

Ask yourself, what if TikTok returns tomorrow? Would these apps be able to retain the user base? Let’s have context.  

What it takes 

To build a world-class networking site, you need a deep pocket, innovative and experienced workforce. 

To build a great User Experience, you need Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Internet-of-Things (IoT). Indian entrepreneurs struggle the most for funding and look at the players, they can practically pour money endlessly! 

Launching and scaling a networking app are two different aspects, but require hundreds of millions of dollars and decades of experience. 

Ironical India

We are the powerhouse of knowledge, you got Indians running behemoth such as Google, Microsoft, and have the highest demographic dividend in the globe, still, we rely on foreign tech and miss the bus every other time. In India, we have talent at a very limited scale. All goes to the valley!

Little on TikTok

As per the survey conducted by Kalgato, one-third of the people have TikTok installed. Let me tell you, TikTok was banned in April last year, this didn’t affect their popularity slightly!
Despite being allegations of promoting domestic violence, pornography etc. There is a stupendous community which uses TikTok, mainly from villages, marginalized communities etc. These people are the ‘stars’ and now have a massive platform. Mostly been a subject of disdain, they use TikTok as a source of income, essentially for self-respect and fame. Hopefully, they find Roposo or Chingari equally good.


TikTok never disrupted Instagram or Facebook to acquire users, it created a niche, worked upon it to create a ‘TikTok India’. They identified the gap, where people can make short videos on anything they wished! 

TikTok gave these people a platform to be unique and original. It was all they needed. Consequently, became influencers, vloggers and made both ends meet.  
We finally took the step of being self-reliant, which is big in itself. Now, we should leverage the opportunity to be our best! China itself became what it is, after disallowing every foreign tech to operate. Being atmanirbhar is the first step.

“There is nothing impossible to him who tries”
- Alexander The Great.

Written by – Manvinder Arora 
Edited by – Ivanova

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