Google takes down Indian app that removed Chinese ones

Google takes down Indian app that removed Chinese ones

Remove China Apps is seen in the Google Play store on a mobile phone in this illustration
Remove China Apps is seen in the Google Play store on a mobile phone in this illustration taken June 2, 2020. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Illustration

NEW DELHI: Google has taken down an Indian mobile application from its app store that allowed users to remove other Chinese apps from their phones as it violated certain company policies, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The app, called Remove China Apps, had become the top trending free app on Google's mobile app store in India with more than 5 million downloads since late May. Its popularity rose amid calls for a boycott of Chinese mobile apps in India during a Himalayan border dispute between the two nations.

A Google spokesman confirmed to Reuters the app had been removed due to violation of app store policies, but gave no further details.

A person familiar with the matter said the software violated Google's policies prohibiting apps that mislead users into removing or disabling third-party apps or modifying device settings or features.

Remove China Apps scanned users' phones for apps such as ByteDance's TikTok and Alibaba's UC Browser. Once deleted, a message popped up saying "You are awesome, no China app found."

OneTouch AppLabs, which developed the app, did not respond to a request for comment. On its website it confirmed the app had been removed and thanked users for their support.

Many Indians and a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party have used the hash tag #BoycottChineseProducts on social media, calling for deletion of popular Chinese apps.

Source: Reuters

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