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PayTM removed from Google Play Store: Know all about it here

PayTM has been taken down from Google Play Store, other apps like Paytm mall, Paytm Money, Paytm for Business and a few more are though still available for download.

Sep 18, 2020 14:58 IST
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Google has removed Paytm app from the Play Store for allegedly violating its policies on gambling.  The app is no longer available for download for Android users.

PayTM confirmed the same through a tweet on September 18, 2020 that read that Paytm Android app is temporarily unavailable on Google's Play Store for new downloads or updates. "It will be back very soon," said PayTM in the tweet and added that all the money is completely safe, and users can continue to enjoy their Paytm app as normal.

While PayTM has been taken down from Google Play Store, other apps like Paytm mall, Paytm Money, Paytm for Business and a few more are still available for download. This decision, however, does not impact Apple App store, where PayTM continues to be available. 

Why has Google removed PayTM from Play Store?

Google did not specify the actual reason why it took down PayTM from its Play Store on September 18, 2020 but the tech giant in a blog today mentioned its policy on gambling.

In the blog titled “Understanding our Play gambling policies in India”, Google’s Vice President of Product, Android Security and Privacy Suzanne Frey stated that Google does not allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that enable sports betting. Frey said that this includes the apps that lead consumers to an external website that allows them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes.

The blog highlighted the issues related to such apps that endorse or promote gambling in India. Frey noted that Google has these policies to protect users from potential harm and when an app violates these policies, the developer is notified of the violation and the app is removed from Google Play until it is brought into compliance. 

Frey further stated that in case of repeated policy violations, Google may take more serious action such as termination of Google Play Developer accounts. Frey said that the policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently.

The blog further stated that redirecting users from one application to another also is not permitted on the Playstore. This is why Google permanently took down ‘Remove China Apps’ and Mobikwik also found itself in a similar situation when it flashed Aarogya Setu ad banner.

Significance

Google stated in the blog that Google Play is designed to provide a safe and secure experience for its consumers while also giving developers the platform and tools they need to build sustainable businesses.

Background

PayTM  is India’s most valuable startup and it has over 50 million monthly active users. The app promotes fantasy sports service within its marquee app, which competes with Google Pay in India, allegedly violated Google Play Store's gambling policies. PayTM’s fantasy sports service PayTM First Games was also taken down from the Play Store.

The Google's action comes just a day before India's popular cricket tournament- the Indian Premier League- is scheduled to start. While sports betting is strictly prohibited in India, fantasy sports where users select their favorite players and win if their preferred team or players play well is not considered illegal in most parts of India. 

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