December 26, 2018
Baba Ramdev’s ‘swadeshi’ company, Patanjali, has shelved its plans to relaunch Kimbho app, touted to be their answer to the messaging platform, WhatsApp. This has come after Patanjali’s failed attempts to launch the app twice. The first attempt to launch Kimbho was undertaken on May 30, after which another attempt was made by Patanjali to launch the messaging platform on August 27.
The company parted ways with Aditi Kamal, the brain behind the idea of Kimbho. After that Patanjali joined hands with Noida-based app-making firm, Social Revolution Media and Research Pvt Ltd to launch Kimbho.
However, Acharya Balkrishna, CEO and MD of Patanjali Ayurved told ThePrint that they wanted to launch a technically sound application which could promise water-tight security and privacy but were not satisfied with the work done. “We have put the idea on the backburner as we don’t want to launch half-baked products,” he said.
He also added that they are currently “very occupied” with new projects and that they don’t have the time and resources to put in on Kimbo any further. “As of now, I would say that we have kept it aside with no more dates scheduled for its re-launch,” Balkrishna told the news website.
Kimbho app was taken down a few hours after its initial May launch. SK Tijarawala, spokesperson for Patanjali Yogpeeth said that the app was launched on a trial basis for a day and was downloaded 1,50,000 times from Google Play Store. However, French security expert, Elliot Alderson tweeted, “Ok, I will stop here. The Kimbho android app is a security disaster. I can access the messages of all the users… This KimbhoApp is a joke, next time before making press statements, hire competent developers… If it is not clear, for the moment don’t install this app.”
Users also discovered the app’s uncanny similarities with another messaging app, Bolo Messenger.
The trial version of the app that claimed to include end-to-end encryption was once again launched on August 15 before its official launch on August 27. The trial version was also taken down from Google Play Store after it missed the official launch deadline following reports of poor user experience and security concerns.
Kimbho was initially promoted as a safe alternative for Indians amid data breach uproar. During the Facebook data breach, Balkrishna had said that data from our country fuelled their economy and has been misused without our permission. He had said that to ensure the privacy of Indian consumers, they are launching the “swadeshi alternative of WhatsApp”.