MobiKwik Was Eliminated by the Google Play store, Due to a violation of the app store’s Advertisements policy.
Singh said in an interview that MobiKwik received a warning from Google per week ago for promoting Aarogya Setu, but then it said that this was an error once contacted by MobiKwik. However, after this, the app was eliminated from Google Play.
Singh tweeted that MobiKwik along with other fintech firms were requested to incorporate the hyperlink to Aarogya Setu by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as part of a rather enthusiastic push to drive installs of their contact tracing app, that has been downloaded over 10 crore occasions . It’s possible to observe that other programs such as Paytm also include links to Aarogya Setu, on both Android and iOS apps.
“App was removed since we had a URL to Aarogya Setu program,” Singh clarified over an email to Gadgets 360. “They gave us a warning one week past and we clarified that we have been asked to do so. Then today they first removed it about 3pm IST and then we chased their group and resubmitted the app after removing the hyperlink to Aarogya Setu and now they made it live.”
“Google clarified that there is no harm in promoting Aarogya Setu program on MobiKwik, however, they removed our app now from the Play Store with no intimation,” Singh said.
A fresh version of the program is currently on Google Play. This version does not have Aarogya Setu in the links below , Singh confirmed. “The whole experience is arbitrary and doesn’t have a logic because so many different programs have the identical connection,” Singh explained.
The updated version of this MobiKwik program has removed the Aarogya Setu link.
Google does have policies against programs that include deceptive or disruptive ads and those that aren’t clearly labelled. However, if that’s the reason why the MobiKwik program was eliminated from Google Play, then we must ask why other programs that also promote Aarogya Setu are being permitted on the store. Gadgets 360 has written to Google for confirmation and will upgrade the copy once we receive a response.