Home / Technology / News /  Anti-China app goes viral on Android, million downloads in less than 2 weeks

NEW DELHI: The Remove China Apps has quickly gone viral among Android smartphone users in India. It claims to remove apps made by Chinese companies from your phone and has a simple interface. You download the app, click scan now and it gives you a list of apps on your phone that come from Chinese companies, which includes names like TikTok, ShareIt, CamScanner and more.

The app is listed at number two on Google Play’s list of top free apps on the platform right now. It has gathered over one million downloads on Android in less than two weeks, riding on the anti-China movement sparked by the covid-19 pandemic. It was launched on 17 May.

The app itself is evidently made to take advantage of such propaganda. If you have no apps from Chinese companies on your phone, it says “You are awesome, No China app found in your system".

However, the company behind the app sounds quite questionable. To begin, their privacy policy is a simple single page document that details what data the app takes. On the one hand, it’s good to have a simple document like this, but on the other, there is no mention of what liability the company takes in case of breaches etc.

At the moment, the app doesn’t require any special consent-based permissions. The privacy policy states that it collects information about the platform type (Android), operating system version, number of clicks on app feature, device model, language you use for the device system, the mobile country codes (MCC), device manufacturer name, version code of apps you’re using, version name of apps you’re using, package name of apps you’re using, time of your phone and screen resolution.

The app is made by a company called OneTouch AppLabs, which claims to be based in Jaipur, according to its website. However, a simple WHOIS search shows that the website was registered just about a week ago. The company used a service that masks the owner of the website from being found using WHOIS searches. We also couldn’t find any details for the company on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).

However, we found details of a company called OneTouch Infomedia Private Limited, which also has a Jaipur-based address. The two addresses seem to be on different sides of town, and OneTouch Infomedia has been struck off by the MCA already. The company had two directors registered, named Narendra Kumar Verma and Roopesh Sharma, and a paid up capital of 1 lakh. We weren’t able to trace any of the directors.

The OneTouch AppLabs website claims that the company provides services in Android and iOS app development and hybrid app development. However, the Remove China Apps app is the only product it has listed at the moment. The website itself is a simply Wordpress-based site that doesn’t really show much seriousness as a company.

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