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Google Takes Down 'Remove China Apps' With 5M Downloads

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Google Takes Down 'Remove China Apps' With 5M Downloads

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) on Tuesday took down an app from Play Store that assisted users in finding and deleting which apps on their devices were developed by China-based companies.

What Happened

"Remove China Apps" had amassed more than 5 million users since late May, according to TechCrunch, which first reported the news.

An Indian developer called "OneTouch AppLabs" had launched the app at the backdrop of rising tensions between India and China over a shared border.

TechCrunch learned that the app was removed for violating the Android app store's "Deceptive Behavior Policy."

Google says that "apps must not attempt to mimic functionality or warnings from the operating system or other apps," or they risk removal.

"Any changes to device settings must be made with the user's knowledge and consent and be easily reversible by the user," the policy states.

Why It Matters

Chinese apps, including ByteDance's TikTok, have been facing increased scrutiny from the United States government over security and privacy concerns, and their alleged sharing of data with Beijing.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi or other high ranking government officials haven't targeted the use of Chinese apps directly but aggressively called for the economic "self-reliance" of the country.

Another Alphabet subsidiary, YouTube, recently courted controversy when it admitted to automatically removing comments that contained certain phrases criticizing China's ruling communist party, CNBC reported at the time.

Price Action

Alphabet Class A shares closed 0.5% higher at $1,442.31 on Tuesday. The shares traded 0.5% lower in the after-hours session at $1,435.01. Class C shares closed $1,439.22 the same day.

 

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