(Update: Restored) Google pulls Paytm app from Play Store for policy violations
Further, Google said that in the case of repeated policy violations, it may take more serious action including terminating Google Play Developer accounts.Devdiscourse News Desk | New Delhi | Updated: 18-09-2020 20:54 IST | Created: 18-09-2020 15:03 IST
Google on Friday pulled India's largest payments app, Paytm, from the Play Store. Google hasn't revealed the exact reason for removing the app, but, earlier today, the search giant said that Google Play is designed to provide a safe and secure experience to its consumers and its policy doesn't support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting.
In a blog post, Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy, wrote, "Our global policies have always been designed with that goal in mind, considering the good of all our stakeholders. 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. 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," it further added.
Taking the above statement into account, it's clear that the Paytm app has been taken down for violating Play Store gambling policies in India. Paytm First Games, a fantasy gaming platform of the company that offers fantasy cricket and other sports has also been removed from the Play Store.
According to Google's policy page, it permits real-money gambling apps, ads related to real-money gambling, and daily fantasy sports apps that meet certain requirements. Google said that in the case of repeated policy violations, it may take more serious action including terminating Google Play Developer accounts.
While Paytm and Paytm First Games apps have been pulled from Google Play Store, both the apps are still available for download on Apple App Store.
Meanwhile, Paytm has tweeted that its Android app is temporarily unavailable on Google's Play Store and it will be back very soon. The company also assured its users that their money is completely safe.
Dear Paytm'ers,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 (@Paytm) September 18, 2020
Update: Hours after being taken down from the Google Play store, the Paytm app is back on the store. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma took to Twitter late Friday to announce that the app is live in the Play Store. Commenting on the suspension, he said "We launched a UPI CashBack campaign this morning. Our app got suspended by Google for this. India, you decide if giving cashback is gambling."
Thanks everyone for your support! Paytm App is back, live in Play Store. 🙏🏼We launched a UPI CashBack campaign this morning. Our app got suspended by Google for this. India, you decide if giving cash back is gambling. 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/w5Rcrs6lLT— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) September 18, 2020