Published: 05th July 2020
Online searches for TikTok, WeChat rise and fall dramatically after app ban
While searches for apps like Tik Tok, Shareit and UCBrower increased at a meagre rate, searches for WeChat and Weibo tanked into negative territory
The Indian government's decision to ban 59 Chinese owned apps has impacted online searches for those apps. A study found that on the June 29, the day the ban was imposed there was a 229 percent increase in the number of searches for Tik Tok and a 255 percent increase in the number of searches for WeChat. On the same day, the percentage increase in the number of times apps like Weibo, Shareit, and UC Browser were 57, 78, and 82 percent, respectively, reveals study by SEMrush.
The following day, there was a sharp fall in the number of times each app was searched.
On June 30, the percentage increase in the number of times Tik Tok was searched fell to a mere 23 percent. The percentage increase in the number of times the apps like Shareit and UCBrowser were sought fell to 11 and 12 percent, respectively.
The study shows that while there was an increase in the number of searches for these three apps, the rate of growth had fallen dramatically. While searches for apps like Tik Tok, Shareit and UCBrower increased at a meagre rate, searches for WeChat and Weibo tanked into negative territory. On June 30, searches for WeChat and Weibo fell to negative 6 and negative 7 percent indicating fewer people searched for them than did on the previous day.
The study also tracked the sentiment about the banned apps on Twitter. It found that of the 18,185 tweets made on #RIPTikTok, 19 percent were positive, 62 percent were neutral, and 19 percent were negative.
Of the 421 tweets on #Weibo, 14 percent were positive, 39 per percent were neutral, and 47 percent were negative. There were 2054 tweets on #Shareit, of which 23 percent were positive, 38 percent were neutral, and 39 percent were negative. On #UCBrowser, there were 2,750 tweets, of which 18 percent were positive, 43 percent were neutral, and 39 percent were negative. There were 18,353 tweets on #DigitalAirStrike, a Twitter handle that gauges the sentiment about the Indian Government's decision to ban Chinese apps. 21 percent of the tweets on #DigitalAirStrike were positive, 61 percent were neutral, and 18 percent were negative.
After considering the sentiment on Twitter, it becomes clear that the majority of Indians either backs the decision made by their Government or has a neutral stance.
Speaking about the results of the study Fernando Angulo, Head of Communications, SEMrush said, "Our study serves as a guide for the Indian Government and firms. The government can see firsthand how the Indian public feels about the ban. Our study clearly shows that despite the popularity of Chinese apps — when it comes down to it — many Indians place loyalty to their country over any entertainment value or utility they get from such apps. The Indian Government has acted, and the people have spoken by announcing they back their leaders' decision. Also, our study has value for Indian firms as it contains data showing that businesses have the chance to fill the vacuum left by Chinese apps. Searches for some of the most popular Chinese apps have fallen dramatically. Our data suggest that with the dragon's exit, Indian tigers have the chance to pounce and take over".