Here’s Why Google Has Pulled ‘Remove China Apps’ From PlayStore

Google had also removed the Mitron app from the PlayStore for policy violations.

Published04 Jun 2020, 08:55 AM IST
Tech News
2 min read

Just recently, an app called Remove China Apps was on the top of the charts on the Google PlayStore as it had gained popularity among users.

Why? Because it did exactly what its name suggested. Remove Chinese apps from your phone.

However, in this globalised world, such biases can come back to bite the developer. Google has removed the Remove China Apps from its platform citing that the app violated its policies.

Talk about the mother of ironies.

Why Has the App Been Removed?

Google found that Remove China Apps was violating its Deceptive Behaviour Policy. The particular policy highlights a lot of things that apps on Google PlayStore cannot do.

One specific point in the policy is relevant in the Remove China Apps case. It says that Google does not allow “Apps that mislead users into removing or disabling third-party apps or modifying device settings or features.”

Since the app in question was removing third-party applications from the phone it was violating Google’s policies in the process.

The policy also states that an app is not allowed to encourage or incentivise users into removing or disabling third-party apps or modifying device settings or features unless it is part of a verifiable security service.

How Did the App Work?

Anyone could download and install Remove China Apps on their Android smartphone. Once installed, the app requests the user to run a scan of their smartphone to detect Chinese apps.

The app successfully detects all third-party Chinese apps on the phone and prompts the user to remove them by giving them a delete option within the app. It was able to detect popular Chinese apps like ShareIt, UC Browser, TikTok, and CamScanner among others.

The Remove China Apps was not able to detect pre-installed Chinese applications. Also, it was free to use and did not show any ads.

The Fame Was Shortlived

Just like the short video-making application Mitron that was recently removed from the Google PlayStore for policy violations, Remove China Apps also enjoyed a bit of fame in its initial days.

The app had over 5 million downloads and was reaping the rewards of the current anti-China sentiment in India due to cross border tensions.

The app's developer OneTouch AppLabs has been hush-hush on the app’s removal from the PlayStore and just left a message on Twitter thanking its users for the support.

If you are still wary about Chinese applications on your smartphone you can type the name of the app on Google and search for its country of origin. This way you’ll be able to know which apps on your phone are from China.

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

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