Google India says Play store policy, not geopolitics, behind removal of Chinese-app-deleting app

And we’d do it anywhere else, anytime, says veep

Google India has explained why it yanked an app called Remove China Apps from its “Play” digital souk.

A Thursday post titled “Clarifying Recent App Decisions on Play” points out that the digital bazaar’s policies do not allow “Apps that encourage or incentivize users into removing or disabling third-party apps or modifying device settings or features unless it is part of a verifiable security service.”

The whole purpose of “Remove China Apps” was to remove apps, so this looks like an open and shut case for Google’s app cops. And also another facepalm moment given that you’d think an app that openly advertises its app-removing intentions might not make it through Google’s app-screening squad.

“We’ve enforced this policy against other apps in many countries consistently in the past - just as we did here,” wrote Sameer Samat, Google’s veep for Android and Google Play.

Pointing out that this ruling has been applied elsewhere is important because Remove China Apps tapped nationalist sentiment in India in the wake of border skirmishes with China. Google almost certainly does not want to be perceived as opposed to Indian national pride, or to harbor anti-China sentiments.

Samat’s post also explains the removal of a TikTok clone called “Mitron”, citing another of its policies that prohibits “apps that merely provide the same experience as other apps already on Google Play. ®

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