#WeeklyRecap: India bans Chinese apps, JioMeet launches, Gmail suffers outage
This week, a number of developments were noted in the world of tech, but the story that drew the most attention was the ban imposed by India on 59 Chinese apps. Beyond that, Google services, mainly Gmail, as well as DuckDuckGo ran into issues, while Reliance's Zoom competitor JioMeet launched in India, looking just like its rival. Here's our weekly recap of everything.
Ban on Chinese apps, resulting impact
Days after the deadly Indo-China border clash that led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian troops, the Government of India issued an order to ban 59 Chinese apps. The move marked a major blow to some prominent services operating in India, including TikTok, SHAREit, Likee, Helo, and UC News. TikTok was among the worst hit and is already trying to get the ban reversed.
Indian apps Chingari, ShareChat rising to the occasion
The departure of Chinese apps opened a way for their Indian counterparts to ride on the anti-China wave and draw users to create an "Atmanirbhar Bharat". Among those raking downloads following the ban were Indian video apps Chingari (went from 1mn to 10mn in a week), Mitron, and Roposo and social media platform ShareChat. Many TikTok creators also began moving to YouTube and Instagram.
Video conferencing service JioMeet also made its debut
Further pushing the call for self-dependent India, Mukesh Ambani's Jio Platforms has debuted its own home-made video conferencing service "JioMeet". The app goes against the likes of Zoom and Google Meet, but the weird part is that it also looks a lot like Zoom - more like its blatant copy. Most UI elements of JioMeet, even language, match those of Zoom.
Microsoft, Google, DuckDuckGo ran into issues
While Indian companies garnered attention, American big tech players struggled. Gmail and a few other Google-built services suffered an outage in India and other nations, while privacy-centric search engine DuckDuckGo was blocked by multiple Indian ISPs before being unblocked again, and Microsoft faced complaints about another bad Windows 10 update. Notably, Microsoft also launched a new Insider preview with a revamped Start menu.
New features on WhatsApp; Reddit's move against hate speech, racism
Facebook's WhatsApp, on its part, launched a series of features aimed at Android, KaiOS, and iOS users, including animated stickers and QR code-based option to add contacts. Then, in another development, social media platform Reddit gave a long due update to its policy on hate speech, violence, and racism, and also launched a crackdown on thousands of dangerous subreddits, even "The_Donald" pro-Trump subreddit.
Finally, some launches for smartphone lovers
In the smartphone segment, plenty of devices were announced, including Redmi 9A and 9C, Realme C11, Honor 30 Lite, Motorola One Fusion, Vivo Y30, and Sharp Aquos R5G. Realme and OPPO also launched new color variants for Narzo 10 and F15, respectively. Additionally, Google discontinued Pixel 3a and 3a XL on its e-store, seemingly indicating that the launch of Pixel 4a is near.