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Is It Ethical to Design the exact copy of application ?

sanchit170054 profile image Maverick Updated on ・2 min read

While the boycott China discourse has really strengthened in recent times in India, underlined by patriotic sentiments and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for vocal for local and 'aatmanirbhar' initiatives, it remains to be seen how lasting an impact does this have in Chinese companies and products. Thus, it makes Indian citizen to use or develop their alternatives.

Hence following this trend, I was finding the alternative for Zoom app and what I found is JioMeet. I mean, I don't understand where are lakh of crores of rupees are being spent on. Does lobbying in India cost so much that there is nothing left for product design?

I mean just look at the photos of Zoom app VS. JioMeet App, they just manipulate the color properties of Zoom.

What you think about?. Will It works?

Taking advantage of the current situation which has opened a enormous amount of possibilities is a brilliant move But the creation of an app that is an exact copy of another application (must be banned) will be looked down not just by the users but also by the startup ecosystem of the entire world.

And this has been done by India’s one of the heaviest funded company ‘Jio Platform’.

“The new JioMeet is a copy-paste of Zoom," wrote security researcher Robert Baptiste, who goes by Elliot Alderson on Twitter. “Where are lakhs of crores being spent on?" Wrote another user, adding a screenshot of JioMeet and Zoom’s interfaces next to each other.

Twitter has gone all out bashing the new Jio Meet platform as an alternative for Zoom app but only time will tell us whether was a smart move or dumb move by the richest man of India.


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Developers can't argue with product managers and product designers while making a startegic decisions, developer is the last one in the chain before the app is delivered, developer codes as it is in the mocks. Lot happens behind the scenes.
Its like targetting the actors even when the direction or screenplay of a movie is bad, actors job is to act as a director asks, and should not act like what he thinks is right? And it applies to all developers in my opinion, unless they are the owners of the product and are most definitely creative.

This is a cheap marketting startegy I agree.

If you ask me that something wrong with developers I would say no.


Sir, am agree with you but as a developer, we have rights to suggest something new about product which not only increase the market value but also present the product in an innovative way. However, don't you think publishing an exact copy of application by such a renowned organization will put negative effect on developers community.?


Haven't you seen a nike or adidas clothes or shoes people selling on streets with the same logo though they look same but they are not? Does this impacted the actual company, it might have for a bit but not with a huge margin.

One who knows the real brand value creates the one makes it the number one.

Talking about the rights to suggest an idea to people who think thier idea is always great is harder for most of the developers, that is the reason why you see most the young coming out and building great products, you take any successful app or idea thought and built was from young entrepreneurs in India, they were developers before they turned a entrepreneurs.

Its kind of plagiarism, it will self destroy as it has no storng roots.

I'm not telling that the developer who coded is bad or had no ideas to propose, like I mentioned in the previous comment.

This is the reality. In this case what jio might have thought is people are using zoom for its UI not the functionalities, we need to see how it handles the load and security and many aspects of the app.

Well, I thanks that you put your interest in my topic and since you are superior in experience, I hope this application must be more reliable and scalable as compared to Zoom but still, I want to put my point in front of you. I think we have to put some innovative ideas in front of users either it is by developer or other members because we all learn in schools that don't copy other's work. No doubt, this application is great initiative by Jio to Boycott Chinese products but still, it is planarized one.


Exactly, we as the people who are part of this industry, know these things. Absolutely agree with your take on this topic. The end product is not made by the developer. It is made by a process that includes designers, architects, planners, developers, testers, and operators, etc.


Vis-a-vis Developers from India (Including myself)

The Indian Teaching Paradigm needs change. Instead of testing students for their memory by making them take tests to check if they remember the things that they can find any time at the world-wide-web, we seriously need to start focussing on something that is more useful, actually relevant and a great asset for the career growth.

Although Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V has been and will remain a helpful tool forever, we need to seriously find more creative ways to do things. We don't need to do different things, we need to do things differently. Even if learning new things is not possible sometimes, we need to remember that implementing the knowledge and creativity in a different way is always new and real classy.

JioMeet was a reflection on India's take on China's app. Even if they could not think of adding a new feature, they could have made those present, more presentable. This action actually gives wrong image of Indian Developers.

Hence, let's start appreciating and promoting self-learning, creativity, actual knowledge (not memory), and skills. Because no matter where you are in this world, these assets are the ones that truly define the word "Professionalism".
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Totally agree with you. In India, we judge the students based on their cramming power and leave the other ones who have better skills and creativity. Thus, because of all this, you can see the JioMeet platform. I think, we have to take some serious step towards the self education, have to work on our skills and as you say "assets are the ones that truly define the word "Professionalism". So, self-learning is must for everyone as It always remains with you.


Yes. Teaching is a two-ended process. Even if we have an excellent teacher, it depends on us, the students on how good we take the information and process it. As we define in CS, information is processed data and knowledge is processed information. Learning is the process of converting information into knowledge.


Right. It's not ok to copy design. But zoom securities issues is not worth mentioning? There is nothing wrong with India devs. I can't see your point with this title and the subject at all. China moves over a tons of things over privacy and gov-owned companies actions are also to be talked about. Tik Tok as well.


Well, I am not talking about the Zoom securities issues here. All I am saying is about the copied design and one more thing, I don't have any doubt on developer's developing skills but at least, their superiors one's must have to work innovatively. I mean what users will think about this exact copy of application. Don't you think they all will say "Indian Developers just copy the source code of Zoom application", as some of my friends are saying about it.


On-boarding is one of the most important steps. If your app has the exact same look-and-feel, but more patriotic, it takes zero effort to switch.

As for designs in general, I think China started the same way just mimicking designs of popular apps and devices in the west. Then they started making their own stuff and branching out...? I don't know, just what I hear from devs in the west.


You are correct that China started developed their apps through mimicking the popular designs but at that time, the things are new technology and no one know about it much. However, today most of the developers have good knowledge about the tools and they are much more skilled to reveal their creativity. Thus to engage other users, developer not only make apps more patriotic but also innovative.


Personally, I don't think it's that big of an issue. Copying is rampant across gamedev and social media. Once something makes millions of dollars, everyone goes and copies it.

If a business can manage to get a billion users to switch over, then they have all the time (and now money) in the world to innovate. Startups can laugh, but startups are also the ones that are probably struggling to stay afloat.

Yeah.. Ok, Copying is rampant; I agree but along with some uniqueness. Big organization like JIO, I don't think it will be good to make exact similar application as an alternative by just changing some of the CSS properties. Now you may heard about the alternative of WhatsApp developed by again JIO, it is also an exact copy. I mean I don't know what their developing team is thinking about, what are their strategies but still providing some uniqueness is good compared to copying it.

I think people in general put too much emphasis on being original or being creative. They want to make things that are unique. That they can call their own.

Think about Candy Crush. It makes billions of dollars for the company. And there are many different games that are basically Candy Crush except with different graphics and POSSIBLY an extra mechanic or two, but that's largely equivalent to changing some CSS properties. And people still play them anyways and will spend money on it.

At the end of the day, businesses are interested in making money, and copying designs and functionality is the path of least resistance as long as they don't get sued for it. Someone did the UX analysis, someone came up with the UI, someone thought about the functions. You save ALL that time and money by simply copying it even if you don't necessarily understand why. Like I personally don't care if their apps look just like Zoom. I don't even care if they call it "Zoom Alternative" just by a different publisher. Even better if I can just grab the app and use it without having to learn it.

As a developer, I think innovation is important because we can't all just keep copying each other because then we'd never get ahead. But from a business perspective, innovation really comes second to profit. In fact, we innovate, SO THAT we can achieve even greater profits, which can be invested into more innovation. Many startups have fantastic innovative ideas, but they flop because they don't have the money or the audience.


Completely disagree with your opinion towards the developers.

Developers are not responsible about finalising the app designs. It's the designers job. Atleast in a big company as Jio.

Most importantly, the whole thing about copying is related to the look and feel of the app. I'm sure every developer will understand that the applications may look same as per the UI but they are never same in backend which is the real work of a developer.

So please stop blaming developers. And the latest app design of JioMeet shows how easy it is to change the UI.


Yeah I know developer is mean to be perform backend work but at least they can suggest an Idea. As a developer, I also suggest sometime new ideas for the same project and sometime I got number of likes on it. I know all developers thought about the same design thus they may perform backend in unique way but all that User interact with frontend not with the backend. So as per them, it is an exact replica of Chinese application.


Agree that developers can suggest some ideas but it is still upto the seniors and managers to approve of that idea. So, developers may not have been heard, even if someone really suggested something.


I have worked with so many great UX and Product folks in India. I doubt this will be true for all or even majority. However, Jio design was a surprise. They should have thought about the brand value and legal ethics. On one side they are promoting themselves as the new tech giant of India and on other hand coming up with this kind of solution is certainly bad.


Exactly, that's what I am saying. I mean Jio is such a big organization and coming up with this kind of application is not suits on them. However, they took opportunity to make zoom alternative but still they have to make a new or innovative design for their users.


If i have to work on such thing, it is clear that i won't. It could be mine after all. I have a long enough life experience to know from the start that it is a crooked business and i don't work for such peddlers. Ethic start with us developer, we are those who realize the work... Are you ready to quit for your belief? Me i do, and i did more than i should done (quit), but it is me.


If the product surve the purpose then I don't care weather it's a copy or not...


Well I love your answer as all we need is just service and quality but think about developers point of view, don't you think if we copied the exact design and features of other developers, I mean is it ethical way to compete with others/ Just think ?


Rocket Internet made it big in Asia by just copy pasting western e-commerce/SAAS businesses.
If they can get the users and the service quality, it's a good move


Well thanks for showing your interest on my topic but I would like to say that rocket Internet Company provide other services too like building online startups and Jio don't. provide any unique service as per Zoom. However, instead of providing other services , they even copied the logo for the application too. I mean were they aware of the upcoming anti china-sentiments or they just built and launched an app within 15 days?


I did make the same fuss after seeing this comparison. But on later point of time I rolled my eyes to a term, "White Labelling", and post that everything made sense.


Thanks for showing your interest in my topic.