In a shocking turn of events, Paytm was removed from the Google Play Store on Friday. While Indian users are quite accustomed to apps being removed all of sudden owing to the recent app bans, Paytm's ban has no China connection. It was reportedly pulled down by Google because it violated Google's complex rules around online gambling, contests with cash prizes, and not due to any security issues.
UPDATE: Paytm is back on Google Play Store hours after it was taken down.
Over 170 Chinese apps were banned by the Indian government in the span of two months due to the security flaws that were unearthed. Some of the popular apps that faced the wrath of the government were TikTok, PUBG Mobile, CamScanner, Shareit among others. The bans took place in the wake of the border dispute between the two countries. But Paytm is not a Chinese app, it is owned by an Indian company called One97 communications Ltd so why has it been removed from the Play Store? Here are the key points you should note.
Paytm was removed from Google Play Store because it allegedly violated the guidelines related to online gambling and contests on the app. All the other apps owned by One97 communications including Paytm For Business, Paytm Money, Paytm Mall, and others are available on Google Play Store apart from Paytm
Interestingly, Paytm was removed from Google a few hours after Suzanne Frey Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy, laid out the new guidelines about online gambling in a blog post. She wrote, "We have these policies to protect users from potential harm. When an app violates these policies, we notify the developer of the violation and remove the app from Google Play until the developer brings the app into compliance. And in the case where there are repeated policy violations, we may take more serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts. Our policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently."
"We have the same goals for our gambling policy. We don't allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. This includes if an app leads consumers to an external website that allows them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes, it is a violation of our policies," Suzanne further wrote.
Paytm has broken its silence on the removal from Play Store. In a statement, the company has said that it is unavailable on Google Play Store due to some new updates and downloads. Nowhere does the app mentions that it was removed due to some violation in Google's policies. "Paytm Android app is temporarily unavailable on Google's Play Store for new downloads or updates. It will be back very soon. All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal," Paytm said in a statement.
Some sources have claimed that Google had reportedly warned Paytm before deleting app from Play Store. A source within Google said that the Google team that worked with developers reached out to Paytm repeatedly to fix the issues with the app. Despite many attempts, Paytm made repeated violations of the Google policy, noted the source.
However, the source informs that Google is still talking to Paytm so it may come back soon, as soon as Paytm complies with the guidelines issued by Google in its next update.
5- It is important to note that Paytm has only been removed from Google Play Store only and it is still available on Apple's App Store. This means that iPhone users can still download the app while Android users can't for the time being. However, the users who already have the app installed on their devices can use it and make payments through it. The money on their wallets are safe, the company has assured.
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