A home-grown short-format video app designed on the lines of TikTok has become a viral hit in India. Called ‘Chingari‘ (Hindi for ‘Spark’), the app has crossed 25 lakh (2.5 million) downloads on Android and iOS. It went from 550,000 downloads to 2.5 million in just ten days, the company said in a statement on Monday. The app has largely positive ratings on both platforms with 4.7 on Google Play and 3.9 on the App Store.
Like its controversial rivals, TikTok and Mitron, Chingari is also a free short-format video app. It was founded by two Bengaluru-based programmers, Biswatma Nayak and Siddharth Gautam. According to NDTV, the app was first launched on Android in November 2018. It was subsequently released on iOS in January 2019. Alongside English, it is available in a number of Indian languages, including Hindi, Bangla, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.
While some are attributing Chinagai’s success to the prevailing anti-China sentiments in the country, the co-founders of the app are trying to differentiate its offering from the ‘boycott Chinese’ bandwagon. In a statement, Chingari co-founder, Sumit Ghosh said: “Unlike its competitors in the Google Play Store … Chingari has been engineered and developed for over 2 years with regular feedback from the users”.
The rise of Chingari comes at a time when anti-China sentiments in India are at an all-time high. Thanks to the prevailing sentiments, Mitron, the controversial ‘home-grown’ TikTok rival that turned out to be an alleged clone of a TikTok clone, has already garnered 10 million downloads on Google Play. It now remains to be seen if Chingari will also have similar success in the coming days.