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Google confirms removing apps for policy violations

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on June 04, 2020 Published on June 04, 2020

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Google has removed the ‘Remove China Apps’ that gained popularity as it uninstalls Chinese apps such as TikTok, Helo and ShareIt, and Mitron app from Google Play Store for policy violations. The company had also removed Mobikwik earlier.

While Google clarified the reasons behind removing a “number of apps”, it did not name the apps which were taken down from Play Store.

“Earlier this week, we removed a video app for a number of technical policy violations. We have an established process of working with developers to help them fix issues and resubmit their apps. We’ve given this developer some guidance and once they’ve addressed the issue, the app can go back up on Play,” Sameer Samat, Vice President (Android and Google Play) at Google said in a blogpost.

“We also recently suspended a number of apps for violating the policy that we don't allow an app that ‘encourages or incentivises users into removing or disabling third-party apps or modifying device settings or features unless it is part of a verifiable security service’. This is a longstanding rule designed to ensure a healthy, competitive environment where developers can succeed based upon design and innovation,” he said.

“When apps are allowed to specifically target other apps, it can lead to behaviour that we believe is not in the best interest of our community of developers and consumers. We’ve enforced this policy against other apps in many countries consistently in the past - just as we did here,” Samat added.


The Jaipur-based developer of the Remove China Apps -- OneTouchAppLabs -- confirmed on Twitter that the app was removed. It debuted on Google Play store on May 17 and was downloaded over 50 lakh times.

The app, which scans the user’s device and lists the apps with China as their origin, lets users decide whether they want to keep or delete applications that are developed in China.

Mitron app, the Indian alternative for TikTok, had over 5 million downloads.

On May 28, Mobikwik CEO Bipin Preet Singh (@BipinSingh) took to Twitter to inform that Google Play has removed the app.

“Hey @GoogleIndia @GooglePlay you removed @MobiKwik app from play store because we had a link to Aarogya Setu app. We were asked to do this by regulators (@RBI) and understand it’s in public health interest. You have too much power!”

Published on June 04, 2020
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