Chingari: Meet India's answer to China's TikTok

Last Updated 30 June 2020, 02:14 IST

With tensions rising at the eastern border between India and China, a need for native replacements for Chinese products is steadily gaining voice on social media platforms. Case in point, Indian apps like Chingari and Mitron, which have risen to the occasion to rival famous China-based short-video sharing app TikTok.

Owing to unrest rippling across the country, the government has banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, urging the need to replace Chinese products with home-grown equivalents, thereby increasing the demand for Indian ventures like Chingari.

Another demand driver clearing the path for the Chingari app is data localization. Although TikTok now offers data encryption for privacy protection, the majority of its servers reside in China and Singapore. This grants the Chinese government access to user data. Bengaluru based company Chingari, on the other hand, stores information on local servers, easing the minds of many users.

Both apps are social networking services that allow users to upload and share short videos amongst other features. While TikTok may have the upper hand in terms of the number of downloads and international popularity, Chingari has become something of a force to reckon with, supporting a whopping 2.5 million downloads in the last month. Though its similarities to TikTok may seem prominent, Chingari does manage to bring something new to the table.

Chingari, which promises to “Cater to the Fast-Moving Needs of Modern Bharat” provides a fresh platform to create and share content in addition to allowing users to get creative with WhatsApp statuses, Videos, Audio clips, Gif stickers, and photos. The app is also available in various local languages including Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, Tamil, Malayalam in addition to English.

In contrast to the multitudes of praise Chingari has received, a few negative remarks regarding the proficiency of the app have also cropped up. The majority of the recorded user complaints include the app taking too much time to load, causing overheating of the device, and a few other minor glitches in the systems software. However, the patriotic urge to boycott Chinese products seems to have far overwhelmed the app’s shortcomings as Chingari now has a stunning 4.7-star rating on Google Play.

Will Chingari manage to maintain its increasing national popularity and manage to make an impact internationally in the nearby future or is it just another passing fad? As of now, it can only grow in favour in India as Chinese apps will have a tough time returning back, but will its position be challenged by another Indian app, or perhaps even a western one? Time will tell.

(Published 29 June 2020, 17:59 IST)

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