‘RemoveChinaApps’ and ‘MITRON App’ removed from Google Play Store: What’s the issue

Mitron App is a copy app of Pakistani developer, so Google removed and RemoveChinaApp removal is unclear.

“Remove China apps” and “Mitron app”, both the applications are trending in India from the past few days. Indian users are showing anger to china, as Chinese troops are creating trouble at the Indian borders. China is surrounded by allegations from most of the top countries in the world because of the coronavirus (Covid-19), yet unable to control its activity on the border. It’s not only about the border issue what India is facing with china, but the Covid-19 pandemic is also started from china. US President Donald Trump earlier started the trade war with China, alleged that the Chinese products and the applications are used for spy purposes hence not suitable for privacy. After all these, the whole Chinese products come into questions of privacy maintenance, as the Chinese government has full control over apps and their data also. So, people thought of to teach a lesson by reducing the dependency on China, especially in India.

“Remove China Apps” is developed by Jaipur based Indian tech firm OneTouchApplabs. They have announced on Twitter that Google has suspended “RemoveChinaApps from Play Store, no explanatory reason posted about this removal as of now. This application helps the user to identify and delete the application developed in china from their phone. it scans the device and creates a list of Chinese app, users also can decide which Chinese app they want to keep or remove. Over one million people in India installed the application on their phone, with the aim to delete Chinese apps present on their smartphone. Surprisingly, “RemoveChinaApps” crossed 1 million downloads within 10 days and now this app is nowhere in Google’s Play Store despite good downloads and reviews.

RemoveChinaApps is almost safe for users because no critical permissions are needed to run the app. The app only scans the installed applications to tell the origin of the apps, which is not an issue, and users shouldn’t have to worry about privacy at all. So, why Google removed the app from the play store is a big question.

Mitron app has been removed from the play store when the huge user base surged and people had started seeing it a TikTok replacement. Mitron app is somewhat the same as what TikTok does. TikTok is facing criticism in India for a very long time due to its inappropriate content, in 2019 TikTok was banned by the government of India, later ban was removed, as TikTok claimed all the inappropriate content has been removed. Recently, TikTok vs YouTube controversy was also on fire in both the platform, from there also people started to hate the app and its Chinese connection worked fuel to the fire. Many users started to uninstall the app and delete the account from the app.

Why Mitron app removed? The Mitron app had violated and not fulfilled Google’s policies. The owner of the app is Shibank Agarwal, a student of IIT Roorkee. The application source code was purchased from the Pakistani company QBOXUS and the app was launched in India as “Mitron”. No customization, no changes made to the app, and even privacy policy not added later a limited information policy added to it. Google’s policy clearly states that “Copying content from other apps without adding any original content or value” is a violation. Google says “We don’t allow apps that merely provide the same experience as other apps already on Google Play. Apps should provide value to users through the creation of unique content or services”. In addition to this privacy policy is not clear, user’s data is not in a safe hand, and security is weak hence the app is vulnerable too.

Mitron app is not truly made in India application as no original changes have made from the developer side. Pakistani software developing company, Qboxus CEO Irfan Sheikh has no problem what Mitron app developer has done. The entire source code was purchased at $34, so no legal issue can be raised for duplicating the app. Mitron app has over 5 million downloads in less than a month But calling it as an Indian made app despite no changes have made to the app, which is not true.

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