MobiKwik taken down from Play Store over ad policy violation, reinstated later1 min read . Updated: 29 May 2020, 12:24 PM IST
- MobiKwik has alleged that the deceptive ad in question was related to Aarogya Setu and their app was removed because they carried a link to it
MUMBAI: UPI payment and wallet platform MobiKwik was taken down from Play Store on May 28 for violating Google's ad policies. The app was restored after a few hours after the contentious ad was removed.
In an email to developers of MobiKwik, Google said the app failed to comply with their developer programme policies, particularly the deceptive ads policy which doesn't allow apps that contain deceptive or disruptive ads including those that are not clearly labelled.
Bipin Preet Singh, chief executive MobiKwik, alleged that the deceptive ad in question was related to Aarogya Setu and their app was removed because they carried a link to it. Singh said MobiKwik was added back on Play Store after they removed the Aarogya Setu app link from their app.
"GooglePlay removed the MobiKwik app from Play Store because we had a link to Aarogya Setu app. We were asked to do this by regulators and understand it’s in public health interest. You have too much power," Singh said on Twitter.
In a statement to Mint, a Google spokesperson said, "Our policies require that apps containing links to external sites or other apps should be correctly labeled, so it is clear for the user. When apps are in violation, we first notify the developer and only take action if the violation is not resolved. We act swiftly to help them resolve the problem through our appeal process. All apps in India can promote the Aarogya Setu app while complying with policies."
Aarogya Setu is a contact tracing app developed by National Informatics Centre to identify people who have been in contact with a covid-19 infected person.
Following the Centre's mandate to get the app installed on as many devices as possible, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had reportedly asked payments and other similar companies to carry Aarogya Setu ads on their platform as a public service.
On its part Google has been very strict on app developers for violation of ad policies.
In 2018, the company removed ads from 1.5 million apps and around 28 million pages which violated publisher policies. In February 2020, Google took down 600 apps for violating ad policies. In 2019, Google launched a Policy Manager in Google Ads to help developers identify when any of the ads violates their policy.