top of page
  • Writer's pictureSarah Dixon

Remove These 11 Chinese Apps From Your Phone Now – Or is This Anti-China Hysteria?

Over the last few years, there have been calls to ban hundreds of Chinese apps citing “privacy” and “personal security” concerns. Apps like TikTok, Xender, Temu, Shein and Camscanner are widely used around the world and have millions of downloads.

Popular mobile games like PUBG Mobile, Garena Free Fire and Esports have been banned in countries like India citing a threat to “national security”.

Note that cyber security is an important issue not only to individuals but to governments. According to a study by TechTarget, Hackers and data miners continue to become more sophisticated, malicious and hiding behind common apps.

The volume of reported vulnerabilities continues to rise as HackerOne 2022, a “Hacker-Powered Security Report” found that ethical hackers were able to discover over 65,000 vulnerabilities in 2022 alone, up by 21% from the numbers reported in 2021.

Cybersecurity measures taken by businesses, governments and individuals are increasingly being rendered obsolete by the growing sophistication of cybercriminals. While businesses try to protect their own sensitive files from attack, customer information is stored in phishing apps in their devices.

Therefore, users may be exposing themselves to scammers and hackers without knowing. There are a number of Apps that may be putting your security in danger.

What are these apps? Let’s find out.

Remove these 11 Chinese Apps Now

Here is a list of Chinese apps that you should delete from your personal or business devices and their description.

  • TikTok – a short-form video hosting service owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

  • Lemon8 – a content-sharing social media platform with a youthful community owned by ByteDance.

  • CapCut – a feature-packed popular video editing application that makes Android users easily post-produce audiovisual creations. It is also owned by TikoTok’s parent company ByteDance.

  • Pinduoduo – is an online marketplace for ordering items from China owned by Chinese company PDD Holdings.

  • Temu – is an American-based online marketplace for products shipped from China. It is a subsidiary of Chinese-based PDD Holdings Inc.

  • CamScanner – is a Chinese mobile app that debuted in 2011 that allows iOS and Android device users to ‘scan’ documents and share the photo as either a JPEG or PDF. It was developed by INTSIG Information Co., Ltd, located in Jingan, Shanghai, China.

  • Shein – is a Chinese online fast fashion online retailing platform owned by Roadget Business headquartered in Singapore.

  • TurboVPN – is an app that lets you freely surf the web without the location-based restrictions some countries or websites may impose. It is owned by Roadget Business Pte. Ltd also headquartered in Singapore.

  • WeChat – a Chinese instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment app developed by Tencent.

  • UC Browser – is a web browser developed by a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group, the mobile internet company UCWeb. It was the most popular mobile browser in India and Indonesia, and the second most popular one in China.

  • SHAREit – is a peer-to-peer file sharing, content streaming and gaming platform that supports online and offline sharing of files and contents. It is owned by SHAREit Technologies Co. Ltd, a next-generation internet technology company that exists to democratize digital access and empower businesses to grow.

Why should you remove these apps from your phone?

You may be wondering why you should care whether or not these Chinese apps are on your phone. Well, some of these apps like TikTok have been accused of being used by the Chinese government which censors the internet and uses online surveillance to control people. In China, the government also has a lot of control over how internet companies operate.

According to the Washington Post, the American part of TikTok has been caught spying on journalists and allowing their employees based in China to access information on American users that is not publicly available.

In 2021, Google claimed that several apps developed by the Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo were flagged with malware and tracked users who had installed them on their gadgets. Google also sent a warning alert to all users who had installed these apps asking them to delete them immediately.

Other Chinese apps like Temu and Shein have not only been accused of selling low-quality “fake” goods but have also come under the radar of the theUS-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), created by Congress in 2000.

The USCC published a report on Friday April 14 accusing the two popular apps and other similar Chinese apps of possible data risks, sourcing violations and intellectual property infringements. The USCC report primarily focused on Shein saying the app “requests that users share their data and activity from other apps, including social media, in exchange for discounts and special deals on Shein products.”

The report also said that Shein has “has struggled to protect user data”, referring to a $1.9 million fine the state of New York imposed on its parent company Zoetop last year for mishandling credit card and other user information.

The report also touched on other issues, including copying other brands’ designs and causing environmental impact.

There have also been numerous articles citing the Shein’s parent company Roadget Business’s use of slave labor.

If CamScanner is on your phone, get rid of it. It was on a list of apps banned in 2021 over concerns that the Chinese government was using them to spy on American citizens.

Most of the developers of these applications deny that the government doesn’t have access to the data, but there’s no way of telling whether they are telling the truth or not.

In a nutshell, it is good to remain safe. Better safe than sorry. Therefore, avoid these apps if you can and while at it, inform your friends and family about the risks these apps pose to their personal privacy and security.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


bottom of page