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Google suspends Mitron app from the Play Store for policy violation

Apps that promote anti-China sentiment are gaining popularity in India, with the Remove China Apps recently raking up 5 million downloads.

June 02, 2020 / 08:58 PM IST

Google has removed the Mitron app from the Play Store. Hailed as India’s answer to TikTok, the app clocked over five million downloads in less than a month. The video sharing app gained popularity amidst prevailing anti-Chinese sentiment in the country.

CNBC-TV18 reported that Google decided to suspend the app for violating its ‘spam and minimum functionality’ policy. Google policy states that “apps should provide users with a basic degree of functionality and respectful user experience”.

According to the report, a clause of the policy mentioned ‘copying content from other apps without adding any original content or value’ amounts to a violation of the guidelines.

This is not the first time that the app has stirred controversy. We previously reported that Mitron might not be the brainchild of IIT Roorkee student named Shivank Agarwal. Instead, the entire source code for the app, including its features and user interface was acquired from Qboxus, a Pakistani software developer company for USD 34 (Rs 2,600).

CNBC-TV18's investigation concluded that the five million users who downloaded the app should be concerned about their privacy and data. Cybersecurity experts had also urged against using it.

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Satyajit Sinha, cybersecurity researcher at Counterpoint, told The Indian Express that using the app was risky given it “doesn’t have any additional firewall or software security on top of the source code. The privacy policy is weak, and that can put user data at risk in the long run.”

Apps that promote anti-China sentiment are gaining popularity in India, with the Remove China Apps recently raking up 5 million downloads. However, we suggest that users proceed with caution before downloading such apps as they could potentially be used by malicious actors to gain access to your data or information.
Carlsen Martin
first published: Jun 2, 2020 03:28 pm
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