Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Explained: Why is BabyBus under adult supervision

The children's app is one of the few Chinese apps that is extremely active in India. It's under watch by experts for compromising the privacy and data of Indian users

Samidha Jain
Published: Jan 11, 2024 05:58:37 PM IST
Updated: Jan 11, 2024 06:15:07 PM IST

Explained: Why is BabyBus under adult supervisionBabyBus has a number of applications which are popular among kids. Image: Shutterstock

BabyBus is a Chinese media company which serves as a digital content platform, primarily for children up to eight years of age. It has 200 gaming applications, available on Google Play Store and AppStore. It also has a YouTube channel with 34.2 million subscribers and more than 2,000 video uploads. The company is headquartered in Fuzhou, China, and was founded in 2009. It claims to provide educational content for over 600 million fans around the world, with more than 100 million monthly active users.

According to a recent report by Sensor Tower, a US-based data intelligence firm, BabyBus’ gaming apps are massively popular in India and Indonesia, and collectively account for 60 percent share of (gaming app) downloads in Asia in Q32023. BabyBus has a number of applications which are popular among kids; some of these include ‘Baby Panda World: Kids Games’, ‘BabyBus Kids: Video & Game World’ and ‘Baby Panda’s Kids Play’. According to recent data from privacy research firm Incogni, these are also part of the top 11 most “data-hungry” child-targeted apps in the world.

According to a report in the Economic Times, these apps are not very responsible towards a user’s privacy. They collect details of the device and other IDs, app information and performance, app interactions and installed apps, financial information, purchase history as well as personal information like email addresses and user IDs. The data is encrypted in transit, according to the Play Store, but some of these apps don’t provide any way for a user to ask for their data to be deleted.

As per the central government’s Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), 1.12 lakh cybersecurity incidents were reported in the first half of 2023 against 13.91 lakh incidents in 2022 and 14.02 lakh attacks the previous year.

Experts have raised questions over the handling of Indians’ data by BabyBus. They say while the data collected by the company may seem harmless, the larger issue is how this data is being used by BabyBus to compete with American rivals, according to the Economic Times report.