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Mitron May Make a Comeback on Google Play, But No Respite for ‘Remove China Apps’

Mitron app, a TikTok clone that gained an overnight success before getting removed from Google Play, may soon make a comeback, Google has suggested by giving clarity on its recent app removal decisions. The search giant has given some guidance to the developer behind the Mitron app to fix issues violating its technical policy. The app garnered over 50 lakh downloads in less than a month before being removed from Google Play earlier this week. Google also recently removed the “Remove China Apps” application that was meant to uninstall Chinese apps from Android devices.

Without specifying the name of the Mitron app, Sameer Samat, Vice President, Android and Google Play, noted in a blog post that his team was working with the developer to help them fix issues and resubmit their app on Google Play.

“We’ve given this developer some guidance and once they’ve addressed the issue the app can go back up on Play,” Samat said while indicating Google’s communication with the Mitron app maker.

The Mitron app was removed from Google Play earlier this year for violating the company’s “Spam and Minimum Functionality” policy that doesn’t allow apps that “merely provide the same experience as other apps already” offered through Google Play. “Apps should provide value to users through the creation of unique content or services,” the Repetitive Content definition of the policy reads.

It is important to highlight that the Mitron app had tonnes of similarities with TikTok. In fact, the prime reason behind its sudden popularity was the experience that was quite similar to TikTok, which faced a public outrage for giving space to creators who allegedly promote acid attacks on women and host animal and sexual abuse content.

Some reports initially called the Mitron app an India-made alternative to TikTok. It was, however, later found that the app’s source code was reportedly purchased from a Pakistani software development company Qboxus. The developer of the Mitron app hasn’t yet come out publicly to give any clarity, though.

Alongside copying the experience, the Mitron app was found to have a serious vulnerability that could allow attackers to take over user accounts. Its developer didn’t provide any update on the alleged loophole revealed by a security researcher.

No ease for the makers of Remove China Apps?
In addition to the Mitron app, Google removed the Remove China Apps app from the Google Play store on Wednesday. That removal came into effect for violating the Deceptive Behaviour policy that doesn’t allow apps to encourage or incentivise users into “removing or disabling third-party apps”.

Google seems to have no plans to make things easier for the makers of the Remove China Apps and bring it back to Google Play anytime soon.

“When apps are allowed to specifically target other apps, it can lead to behavior that we believe is not in the best interest of our community of developers and consumers. We’ve enforced this policy against other apps in many countries consistently in the past – just as we did here,” the Samat said in the blog post while clarifying the move.

In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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