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Google suspends PDD Holding's Chinese ecommerce app Pinduoduo

Google announced on March 20 that it had flagged several apps made by Chinese company PDD Holdings as malware.

March 21, 2023 / 10:02 AM IST

Tech giant Google has suspended PDD Holding's Chinese shopping app Pinduoduo after malware was found in some versions of the software that are not available on the Play Store.

Google spokesperson, Ed Fernandez, said that “off-Play versions of this app that have been found to contain malware have been enforced on via Google Play Protect,” referring to apps that are not on Google Play.

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This development is being reported in the wake of fear that the malware present in the app was incorporating code that helped it track users’ information and activity not just on Pinduoduo but also across other apps.

Pinduoduo is a rising e-commerce giant that has almost 800 million active users.

Google alerted users who had installed these apps and suspended the company’s official app.

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Technology news website Tech Crunch reported that in the last couple of weeks, multiple Chinese security researchers had accused Pinduoduo of making apps for Android that contain malware designed to monitor users.

In an attempt to mitigate the malware problem, Google has set Google Play Protect, its Android security mechanism, to block users from installing malicious apps, and warn those who have them already installed, prompting them to uninstall apps that have been flagged.

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Fernandez added that Google has suspended Pinduoduo’s official app on the Play Store “for security concerns ” as an investigation regarding the malware is still going on.

While Google Play is not available in China, anonymous security researchers told the technology news website that the malicious apps were present in the custom app stores of phone manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi.

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