After ban online searches for TikTok, WeChat see massive drop: Study


By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: July 7, 2020 9:06:39 am

Social Media, Chinese social media, China censorship, Social Media censorship, Facebook, Twitter, China social media accounts, Chinese social media accounts The online search for WeChat was at its peak on the day of the ban on Chinese apps (Image: Reuters)

Since the ban of 59 Chinese apps including apps like TikTok, ShareIt, and others, the demand for their alternatives has increased. Users have also been searching for these apps on Play Store, App Store, and online. When the ban was announced there was a massive increase in the online searches of many of these apps but it has gone down substantially in the next few days.

According to a study by SEMrush, a 229 per cent increase in the searches for TikTok was recorded on the day the ban was imposed. The widely famous video-sharing app wasn’t the only app on the list which saw a sudden increase in the search online. WeChat had an increase of 255 per cent in the number of searches. Other utility apps like Weibo, ShareIt and UCBrowser were on the list too with a search increase in 57 per cent, 78 per cent and 82 per cent respectively.

On the next day, there was a massive fall in the number of searches of the banned apps. From 229 per cent, TikTok’s increase in search fell to just 23 per cent and kept dipping for SHAREit and UCBrowers as well. On the other hand, searches for apps like WeChat and Weibo the search numbers went negative.

Amidst the growing anti-China sentiment in India, the study also tracked the reactions on Twitter and classified them into three categories: positive, neutral and negative. The #RIPTikTok trend had 19 per cent positive and negative responses each whereas 62 per cent of them were neutral out of 18,185 tweets posted. Similar responses were ascertained in the study featuring hashtags on popular apps. More than 60 per cent had a neutral stance when using #DigitalAirStrike.

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After the ban, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the Aatmanirbhar Innovation Challenge, inviting India’s tech and community to create an Aatmanirbhar App Ecosystem. On Sunday, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu launched Elyments, a social networking app on both platforms, iOS and Android.

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