Are Indians exporting data via Chinese software?

When data is regarded as the vital fuel for digital economy, data-access requests that most Chinese mobile applications make outnumber their non-Chinese alternatives. Either available on the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store, these applications usually list permissions they require for installation.

A comparative analysis of Play Store information reveals startling facts about the volume of data Chinese applications seek from their users.

TikTok, owned by the Chinese tech company ByteDance, requests around 30 permissions compared to its German counterpart Dubsmash seeking 19 and Scandinavian counterpart Funimate asking them for only 13 permissions.

Among the three, TikTok is the only app that also requests location data via network & GPS coordinates. Location details, in fact, are not paramount to the app whose working is similar to Dubsmash.

Hello, a fast-growing Chinese content-sharing and social-networking application, asks for as many as 39 permissions compared to its main Indian rival ShareChat, which requests 26, Play Store data shows. Here too, Hello seeks location details, which in its Indian counterpart does not.

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