Google has removed digital payments app Mobikwik from its Play Store citing a violation of its ads policy. The company’s co-founder and CEO Bipin Preet Singh said in a tweet that it was done because the app had an ad linking to the Aarogya Setu app.
Mobikwik had the ad as they were asked to by the regulator Reserve Bank of India and also as it’s in public health interest, Singh said.
The app already installed on Android and iOS devices are working as usual. Also, the app is available for download on Apple devices
Responding to Entrackr’s queries, Singh said that a week ago Google had warned Mobikwik for promoting Aarogya Setu app on its platform and termed it as deceptive. However, when MobiKwik contacted Google, they said it was a mistake.
“Google clarified that there is no harm in promoting Aarogya Setu app on Mobikwik, however, they removed our app today from the Play Store without any intimation,” Singh said. “You have too much power!,” he added in his tweet referring to Google after the app was removed.
Entrackr has reached out to Google for an official statement and we will update the story as soon as we hear back.
As per Google’s email, Mobikwik was not compliant with one or more of its developer program policies. For instance, Google doesn’t allow apps that contain deceptive or disruptive ads and those which aren’t clearly labelled.
Ever since its launch last month, Aarogya Setu has been aggressively pushed by government and private entities for the monitoring of Covid-19 related symptoms.
Within a few weeks of launch, Aarogya Setu has been downloaded in 100 million-plus devices. The app was also facing a backlash from privacy advocates and citizens over concerns of too much data sharing and its end-use. In its response, the government had made the app open source early this week.