There is no denying that if you’re using technology, you’re using Chinese. The “Made in China” tag isn’t just restricted to the hardware. Most apps we use are also Chinese. Whether it’s the content creation app TikTok, file sharing app Shareit or the infamous UC Browser which has been found to bypass Google security norms. But fret not, there are plenty of alternatives for these apps and I’ve listed the best ones in the list. So here are the Best Chinese Apps Replacement.
Before we begin, you should also look at the ‘Remove China App’ which triggered the trend to replace Chinese apps. The app has already over 5 million downloads on the Google Play Store. It shows you all the Chinese third-party apps on your phone. It also gives you a “One Touch Delete’ option to remove those apps. However, if you’ve pre-installed system apps, it’s unlikely to detect them.
Best Chinese Apps Replacement
1. Files by Google (Alternative to SHAREit)
No doubt SHAREit has been on the top of the file-sharing game. But sharing kept aside, it has not been successful in keeping user data safe. A year-old security flaw in the app allowed an attacker to bypass authentication and download not just the files but also important user data, such as user’s info from Facebook, Amazon, etc. Shareit has also been one of the pre-installed apps put by the manufactures on the phone. However with these security flaws, it’s better to use another app and in this case, Files by Google are a great option.
Files by Google takes up less than 10 MB on your phone and lets you share without the need of any internet. You can share pictures, videos, documents, apps, etc. It’s super fast and can hit up to 480 Mbps transfer speed. Moreover, it is secured with WPA2 encryption providing better security. Besides that, you can also use the app as an organization tool to free up more space and delete duplicate files.
Get Files by Google (Android)
2. Brave Browser (Alternative to UC Browser)
Owned by Alibaba UC Browser put a lot of other browsers to shame for its sheer browsing and download speed. It has been reported to bypass Google Play’s servers to download modules and libraries. This clearly violates Google Play rules prohibiting apps to download new components from other sources. This makes the doors open for numerous phishing scams,
As most of us at Techwiser use Brave, I’d suggest the same to you. It has an in-built ad blocker, so you can enjoy anonymous browsing without the irritating targeted ads. Moreover, it also features automatic HTTPS, tracker blocking, and private browsing. I highly recommend shifting to Brave even if you’re using Google Chrome at the moment.
3. Phone by Google (Alternative to TrueCaller)
TrueCaller is the only app by far which comes closer to guessing an unknown number correctly. Although TrueCaller is a Swedish company, there have been several reports of citing the app as a Spyware, sending data to Chinese servers. There have also been times when it has signed-up users without consent to its payment service.
There are chances that Phone App wouldn’t work on some Samsung, OnePlus and Realme Devices.
The Phone App developed by Google can be installed on non-Pixel devices as well. It features a Call Screen option so you can avoid unwanted and spam calls. You can also report calls for telemarketers and fraudsters and block numbers to prevent annoyance. The repository is, of course, isn’t as good as TrueCaller but options like Duo integration, Visual Voice-mail make it a much better option.
Get Phones by Google on Android
4. Adobe Scan (Alternative to CamScanner )
Whenever it comes to scanning pictures or documents, CamScanner is the top search. It’s owned by a Chinese corp. INTSIG Information co. and has faced multiple issues, like being infected with Trojan malware and being pulled down from the app store. Although CamScanner fixed the issues and was released again, it remains a very vulnerable app.
While most of the phones come with a scanner app or an in-built scanner option within the Camera app, you can try out Adobe Scan. The app is similar to Cam scanner and lets you add multiple images, scan business cards, and convert them into a PDF document. The app uses AI to automatically detect borders and sharpens the content. Moreover, if you have a business card, it can scan an automatically convert the details. This way you don’t have to manually feed it in your contacts.
5. ProtonVPN ( Alternative to Turbo VPN )
Turbo VPN is one of the most used VPN on the Play Store, however, the parent company seems fishy. According to this report, the company which owns it, ‘ Innovative Connecting’ also secretly owns several other VPNs on the Play Store which means that your data is open to be accessed by Chinese authorities.
Don’t worry, you can easily bypass this by using ProtonVPN. The app is created by scientists at CERN and is free and open source. So you won’t be bogged down by ads nor with any bandwidth limits. It uses AES-256 encryption and never logs user data, so even if there is a push by the public authorities, the app has nothing to share. The free version can have 1 VPN connection with serves in up to 3 countries.
6. Norton Lock ( Alternative to AppLock )
AppLock comes from a HongKong based organization that lets the user put a pin lock to make other apps secure. The major issue, however, is the list of permission it needs is simply astonishing for a lock app. It needs over 36 permissions including GPS and network permission which is too much for an app that just needs an overlay to work. You can’t use the app without accepting permission like access to the device’s brand model, advertisement ID, access to photos, media files, camera, etc. Raises eyebrows, right?
You can use Norton App lock instead which has far fewer permissions in comparison and doesn’t ask any access to user data. It’s owned by Symantec a U.S based company. Although it does promote it’s own Norton Antivirus, the app doesn’t have any ads per se.
Get Norton Lock for Android
7. Google Meet ( Alternative to Zoom Meetings )
The lockdown has pushed everyone to use video concerning sites and one of those who jumped the bill is the video conference app Zoom. A similar case as Truecaller, Zoom isn’t a Chinese app, however, no one can argue that it isn’t privacy-friendly and even Zoom admitting that the calls were routed through China.
So if that bothers you, you can shift to Google Meets. All you need is a Google account to get started. The meeting can have up to 100 participants who can go onto 60 minutes. You can host an unlimited number of meetings, share your screen, adjust layouts, and even save meeting recording to your Google Drive. It also boasts of Anti-abuse feature and Encryption in Transit at default.
8. Google Photos ( Alternative to QuickPic )
If you love sorting your gallery you must’ve heard of QuickPic. It touted support for most of the picture formats, video player, custom grid animations, etc. However, this app was bought by the infamous Cheetah Mobile and reported to be a part of a massive ‘Click Fraud Scheme’. Although it has seen a comeback with a different developer name, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
In case you don’t like the cloud featurs of Google Photos, you can use Simple Gallery Pro which is an open-source gallery app.
Google Photos is one such app that I use despite my in-built gallery app. It has an array of options that will put your gallery problems at bay. Besides the regular sorting, the app can group pictures by people, places, and even things. You can also share your pictures and albums with others and also back-it up on your Google Drive. You can do basic editing like filters, draw on pictures, crop, and create movies, collages, animations with your pictures.
Most of these apps ask for permission that isn’t required for them to operate properly. Other apps might come from a Chinese developer but are safe to use. This dilemma can easily be dealt with the Exodus app.
It essentially compares all the apps on your phone with its repository and tells you if the app is safe to use. You can see the number of trackers and permission in the app. Accordingly, uninstall the app and replace it with something that provides you with more safety. You can read more about the app in detail here.
So here was the best alternative to some of the vulnerable Chinese apps. I highly recommend using Exodus to check which apps have a lot of trackers and require permission that the app doesn’t need and filter them accordingly. You might also think I didn’t put an alternative to TikTok because as of yet there aren’t any that comes close to its capability. So these were some apps which you can replace easily instead of prying eyes of the Chinese. Try them out and let me know if you feel a difference in the comments below!