The viral app dubbed ‘Remove China Apps’ recently came into the spotlight as an app that detects and helps delete Chinese apps from smartphones. Now Google itself has removed the app from Play Store for violating its Deceptive Behavior Policy.
This policy prohibits software from encouraging or misleading users into “removing or disabling third-party apps.” And this was the sole function of Remove China Apps. It scanned phones for ‘Chinese apps’ by comparing the app developer’s country of origin with a database of apps developed in China.
Even though Remove China Apps was incompetent when it came to pre-installed Chinese apps that came bundled with smartphones, the app claimed its ability to do so. It mostly flagged user-installed or third party apps as ‘Chinese apps’ and offered an option to uninstall them. Some of such third party apps are TikTok, UC Browser, CamScanner, ShareIt, Xender, etc.
The developer of the app in question, OneTouchAppLabs, a Jaipur-based startup, took to Twitter to announce the suspension of the Remove China App from Google Play store.
Google has suspended our #RemoveChinaApps from google play store.
Thank you all for your support in past 2 weeks.
"You Are Awesome"
Its easy to find the origin of any app by searching on google
<AppName> origin country
Stay Tuned !! Stay Safe!!
— onetouchapplabs (@onetouchapplabs) June 2, 2020
Even though Remove China Apps has been removed by Google from Play Store, users who have already installed the app can continue using it.
This app had gained popularity amidst the rising dispute between India and China over the Himalayan borders. It capitalized heavily on the anti-Chinese sentiment in India that was further fueled due to the onset of COVID-19 and the recent YouTube vs TikTok fight.
Before its removal from Play Store, the app had already gained over 5 million downloads. In fact, until yesterday morning it was the top-free app on Play Store.