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Google clarifies decision to take down apps from Play Store

Sameer Samat, Vice-President, Android and Google Play, said they removed apps due to a number of technical policy violations

Google has issued a statement, clarifying its decision to remove certain apps from its Play Store, which evoked sharp reactions in India.

Issuing the clarification, Sameer Samat, Vice-President, Android and Google Play, said, “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.

“We also recently suspended a number of apps for violating the policy that we don't allow an app that ‘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 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.  

“We hope this helps clarify the rationale behind these recent actions. We thank our developers for all the amazing work they do and our consumers for their continued support in helping to create a safe and secure mobile app ecosystem.”

Samat said Google Play was designed to provide a safe and secure experience for their consumers while also giving developers the platform and tools they need to build sustainable businesses. Their global policies were designed with that goal in mind.

Google’s decision to take down short-video making app ‘Mitron’ and ‘Remove China Apps’, an application that could be used to remove Chinese apps, evoked widespread outrage in India.

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