Google explains why it cracked down on Mitron and Remove China Apps2 min read . Updated: 04 Jun 2020, 04:53 PM IST
- Mitron app’s developers have been given some guidance and once they address the issue the app can go back up on Play Store
- Regarding removal of Remove China Apps, Samat said Google doesn’t allow an app that encourages or incentivises users into removing or disabling third-party apps
NEW DELHI: Google on Thursday said it removed the Mitron app from its Play Store for technical policy violations, and it can be brought back if the developers resolve these issue.
Google issued a clarification following a backlash and accusations that it was in cahoots with China after it removed two controversial apps -- Mitron and Remove China Apps -- from the Play Store earlier this week.
Sameer Samat, vice president, Android and Google Play said Google has an established process of working with developers to help them fix issues and resubmit their apps. Mitron app’s developers have been given some guidance and once they address the issue the app can go back up on Play Store.
Regarding the removal of the Remove China Apps, Samat said Google doesn’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. 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," Samat added.
Samat emphasised that the company has enforced this policy against other apps in many countries consistently in the past, just as they did in this case.
Mitron app became hugely popular with millennial users active on short form video platforms like TikTok and bagged 5 million users in a few weeks' time. Its success was largely driven by online campaigns that urged people to not use TikTok and switch to Indian alternatives. However, it was later found that Mitron app was based on the same source code as Qboxus’ TicTic app and the Indian developers had barely made any changes to it after purchasing it from the Pakistani software company. The app was reportedly removed earlier this week for being repetitive providing the same experience as other apps already on the Play Store.
Remove China Apps had also amassed 5 million downloads by exploiting anti-China sentiment, which has been building up due to the ongoing border dispute between India and China. The app claimed to delete all apps coming from Chinese developers from the phone. As per news reports, the app was taken down for violation of Google’s deceptive behaviour policy for apps on the Play Store.