Google played cheap politics with MobiKwik over Aarogya Setu link

MobiKwik

Google is well known for adopting their own monopolistic policies. Their positive approach towards China has been widely criticized. The latest development is that the app of the Indian mobile-wallet company, MobiKwik, has been removed from Google Play.

According to MobiKwik CEO Bipin Preet Singh, the app has been removed from Google Play reportedly for including Aarogya Setu contact tracing app link inside the app. The reason for the removal of the MobiKwik app is because of the violation of the app store’s ads policy.

According to Singh, the company had received a warning from Google for attempting to promote Aarogya Setu. The app has been removed because MobiKwik found no proper reasoning for the removal since other mobile payment platforms is also promoting the contact tracing app.

MobiKwik CEO Singh took to Twitter and disclosed that the financial companies have been asked to provide a link to Aarogya Setu by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The main purpose is to create awareness among the community about the existence of the contact tracing app. The Aarogya Setu app has been downloaded more than 10 crore times. Singh added that other companies like Paytm have also integrated links to Aarogya Setu on Android and iOS apps. He confirmed that the reason for the removal of the MobiKwik app is because of the fact that we had a link to the Aarogya Setu app.

Google asked for clarifications and the company gave an explanation that India’s top bank has been asked to do so. The company rebuild the app after removing the Aarogya Setu app link and submitted it back to Google. The app is currently live on Google for public consumption. Even though Google had clarified that there is no harm in promoting Aarogya Setu app on MobiKwik, the app Store team has removed the MobiKwik app without any prior intimation. It looks like the team could be unaware of the new Government policies.

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The newly uploaded MobiKwik version does not include Aarogya Setu. According to MobiKwik, the entire Google experience is arbitrary and has no logic because other apps have the same link. We are not aware of what prompted them to remove our app, adds Singh.

Google has drafted policies in such a way to prevents apps that contain deceptive or disruptive ads. Moreover, the ads should be clearly labelled. If the reason for the removal of MobiKwik app from Google Play Store is because of the reference to Aarogya Setu, then why other apps like Paytm are allowed to function. This question will be asked even by a kid.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com