App that detects and removes Chinese-made apps goes viral

The US isn’t the only country whose relations with China are currently strained. A border dispute in the Himalayas has seen rising tensions with India, leading to an app called ‘Remove China Apps’ passing five million downloads in just over two weeks, most of which came from within India.
Indian startup OneTouch AppLabs is behind the app. It scans a device and will either congratulate the user on having no Chinese-made apps or list them all, which includes the likes of TikTok. Rather than automatically removing any applications, users are presented with an option to uninstall these apps.

The Google Store description claims the app is “developed for educational purposes only to identify the country of origin of a certain application(s), we do not promote or force people to uninstall any of the application(s),” thought the only country of origin that’s identified is China.

The description goes on to say that countries of origin are detected based on market research, but there’s no guarantee that the results will be accurate. Android Authority writes that while it did detect TikTok and another Chinese-made app in its tests, PUBG Mobile, which comes from the China-based Tencent Games, was not identified. It also misses some Chinese apps that come bundled with smartphones, according to TechCrunch.

While the app doesn’t require an account to use, it does collect quite a bit of information from users, including device manufacturer and model, language, the versions of apps on a phone, the time, and more.

OneTouch AppLabs claims it has “experience of 8+ years in mobile and web application design, development and management,” yet Remove China Apps is its first product, and the company’s simple website only went live on May 8.