JioBook 2 Teardown Exposes Surprising 50+ Government-Banned Chinese Apps Including TikTok

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Reliance’s much-anticipated JioBook 2023, priced at Rs 16,499, has stirred controversy and garnered criticism from tech enthusiasts, following discussions on online forums like Reddit. Adding fuel to the fire is a teardown video by a popular YouTuber, shedding light on the laptop’s preloaded apps, which include over 18 adult-oriented apps and a list of more than 50 apps banned by the Indian government in 2021, including the infamous TikTok.

The ban on these apps by the Indian government came amid concerns over potential national security threats and their affiliations with the Chinese government. While Jio has included a disclaimer about the presence of these apps, the company has not yet issued a specific statement addressing the matter.

JioBook 2 Laptop Video That Claims 50+ Banned Apps

The video, created by A2D Channel in Tamil, begins with the YouTuber sharing that he has purchased the laptop and initially finds it to be an improvement over its predecessor. However, upon booting up the laptop, he raises the point that Jio could have opted for ChromeOS instead of the Android fork known as JioOS 1.0. His concern stems from the fact that the built-in app store contains content such as the Chinese language learning app Mandarin Matrix, apps previously banned by the Indian government (including TikTok), and a selection of 18+ adult apps. Notably, these apps are readily accessible with a simple scroll, which he highlights.

Jio attempts to distance itself from these apps with a disclaimer line displayed on the store, stating, “The additional apps are not hosted on JioStore and are made available through a third-party store. Jio doesn’t take any responsibility or liability for the apps.” However, the YouTuber argues that the company could have, at the very least, implemented filters to screen the apps provided by the so-called third-party store.

Furthermore, due to the absence of Google Mobile Services licensing, the JioBook lacks access to the Google Play Store, leaving users reliant solely on the in-built app store.

This becomes particularly concerning because the JioBook is primarily targeted at students, and exposing them to such apps is far from ideal.

Beyond the software concerns, a closer look at the laptop teardown reveals that the new JioBook is equipped with a MediaTek 8788V chipset, a notable upgrade from the Snapdragon 665 found in the previous JioBook 1 model. It boasts 4GB of RAM, 64GB of eMMC storage, USB 2.0 ports, and a 4,000mAh battery, in contrast to the 5,000mAh battery in the previous version. The YouTuber attributes the reduced battery size to the JioBook 2’s lighter weight.

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