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Google explains why it removed Mitron, Remove China Apps from Play Store

Google had removed Mitron and Remove China Apps from Play Store within a span of two days. 

Mitron had over 4 million downloads on Google Play Store.
Mitron had over 4 million downloads on Google Play Store. (Robin Sinha/Hindustan Times)

Google this week removed the apps ‘Mitron’ and ‘Remove China Apps’ from its Play Store. Both apps gained heavy traction in India within just a few days. Google has now responded explaining its reason behind removing these apps.

Mitron emerged as the Indian made TikTok-rival which was later discovered to be a copy of an existing short video app called ‘TicTic’. As for the other app, it detected removed third-party “Chinese” apps on smartphones and helped users bulk delete them. This app in particular grew popular owing to the current trend in India to boycott Chinese products.

“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, said in a statement.

Based on this response, the Mitron app was removed should be back on Google Play once the developers fix the issue pointed out by Google.

As for the Remove China Apps app, it doesn’t look like the app will be back on Google Play. The app has been suspended as it “encourages or incentivizes 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 behavior 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.

Remove China Apps had garnered almost one million downloads on Google Play and it was also the top free app. Mitron also received over 5 million downloads and had a 4.7 star rating on Google Play.

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