Amidst anti-China sentiments sweeping through India, a new app claiming to cleanse your phone of all “China apps” has jumped to the top spot on the Play Store in the country. Called Remove China Apps, the software claims to “identify the country of origin of certain applications”. It is published by Jaipur-based OneTouch AppLabs and went live on the Play Store on May 17. The app has been downloaded more than 1 million (10 lakh) times and has an enviable rating of 4.8.
‘Remove China Apps’ is free software that claims to identify apps offered by Chinese companies. The developers claim that the app is “for educational purposes only”, and isn’t intended to “force people to uninstall any of the applications”. Interestingly, it seems to detect only third-party Chinese apps, like TikTok, but not pre-installed apps from Chinese smartphone vendors.
‘Remove China Apps’ has gone viral at a time when anti-China sentiments, not only in India but around the world. While the Chinese government’s initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan last year has a lot to do with the negative sentiments. Various conspiracy theories being spread by right-wing groups in the US and India have also contributed generously to it.
In India, YouTube vs TikTok row resulted in mass-downvoting of TikTok that reduced the app’s rating from 4.5 to 1.9 before Google deleted the spammy downvotes to restore the rating back up to 4.4. Of course, recent reports of Chinese incursions into Indian territory in Ladakh are also fueling the anti-China flames in the country.