Earlier this month, the Indian government announced ban on 59 Chinese apps, which included TikTok, Shein, ShareIt, Mi Community, among others.
With the ban of these apps, various unpopular-till-now apps have started to gain popularity. According to a report by analytics platform Sensor Tower, between 29 June and 8 July, apps like ShareChat and Roposo, both of which are India-grown video sharing apps, saw a rise in the number of downloads since the ban of the Chinese apps.
One of the apps benefiting from the ban is Ding Dong, which suddenly shot to one of the top trends of the day (14 July).
So, we started to dig into the app and we found that the Ding Dong app is being promoted by Indian film and television actress Ena Saha, and is developed by Jarek Entertainment.
The app has currently only been spotted on Google Play Store, where it has a handful of reviews. Interestingly though, the reviews are only from 5 July onwards, and either the review ratings are a straight five stars or it's zero. At the time of writing the story, the Play Store page showed 1,000+ installs of the app and had a 4.2 overall review rating.
As can be seen from the screenshots uploaded on the Play Store, the UI of the app mimics TikTok.
The app description reads: "DingDong is not your ordinary destination for short-form mobile video. It's raw, real, and without boundaries " whether you're brushing your teeth at 8.15 am, or, you're making breakfast at 8.39 pm. It's from the gut, 'come as you are' storytelling told in 15 seconds. With DingDong life's more fun when you live in the moment and go beyond to explore."
Since earlier today, we also spotted some cookie-cutter tweets promoting the Ding Dong app.
And this is where comes the murkiest bit:
We also looked into the developer, Jarek Entertainment's Twitter profile, which was created in June 2020, and it currently only follows eight people, which includes a production house, actors like Ena Saha, Mimi Chakraborty, Nusrat and Yash Dasgupta, writer-director Anshuman Pratyush, and two publications including The Telegraph, and Ei Samay. Barring the publications, the mentioned actors and the director are working together on a new movie called SOS Kolkata.
Could it be part of a promotional campaign? Only time will tell. However, we are currently not sure how secure the app is. And its promotions on Twitter could be misleading as well.
With the shutdown of apps like TikTok, users have been looking for alternatives, and the Ding Dong app could be taking advantage of that vulnerability.