Even after a ban on 59 Chinese apps by the Indian government in June over a border conflict with China, some lite versions of these apps were still available for download, skirting around the government order.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the lite versions of the banned apps which were available for download have now been removed from Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Apps like Helo Lite, ShareIt Lite, Bigo Lite and VFY Lite are no longer available for download. “The apps were found to be operating despite the ban via these versions,” the HT report quoted a MeitY official as saying.
The report also said that the government was considering banning more apps soon, mostly of Chinese origin. However, it did not mention the name of apps that are being considered.
It’s worth noting that these lite versions of already banned apps have registered a significant number of downloads after June 29.
On July 14, Entrackr had reported that Likee Lite garnered 8.68 million downloads in the first two weeks of the announcement of ban on its main version. Similarly, Bigo Live Lite, HAGO Lite, Parallel Space Lite, and Viva Video Lite were also receiving decent downloads during the period.
While HAGO Lite Helo Lite, ShareIt Lite, and VFY Lite have been removed from the Play Store, Likee Lite, Bigo Live Lite, Parallel Space Lite, Viva Video Lite apps are still available on the Android download store.
We also checked the aforementioned apps on the iOS store and none of them were available for download.
The ban on 59 apps, especially in the short video category, have given rise to many alternative players from India. Within a week of the ban, a dozen homegrown startups in the short video category had hit the Play Store and App Store. Interestingly, some of them have crossed 25 million downloads within the last 30 days.