Google starts delisting Indian Apps !

Info Edge reported that several of its mobile applications, including Naukri, Naukri Recruiter, Naukrigulf, 99acres, and Shiksha, were removed from the Google Play Store. This action was due to an alleged non-compliance with Google’s billing policies. The company expressed surprise over the delisting, stating that it was done without sufficient notice.

Following a Supreme Court order, Info Edge is exploring options to ensure compliance and seeking reinstatement of the apps on the Play Store. The company’s founder and vice-chairman, Sanjeev Bikhchandani, asserted that they have been compliant with Google’s policies since the date of the Supreme Court order and that there are no outstanding payments due to Google.

Users who have already downloaded the apps can continue to use them, and the apps remain available on other platforms, such as the Apple App Store, and through their respective web platforms.

This incident is part of a larger crackdown by Google, which began taking action against 10 Indian companies for non-compliance with its payment policies, a move that has been opposed by app developers.

Google Play Store policies that app developers should be aware of to avoid getting delisted:

In-App Billing: Google requires developers to use their in-app billing system for all digital goods and services sold within the app. This ensures a secure and consistent experience for users and generates revenue for Google. Exceptions exist for certain subscription services.

Deceptive Practices: The Play Store prohibits apps that mislead users, employ fake reviews or ratings, or engage in spammy behavior. Transparency and accurate information about the app's functionality and purpose are crucial.

Harmful Content: Apps promoting violence, hate speech, illegal activities, or malware will be delisted. Content that exploits, abuses, or endangers children is strictly prohibited.

Security: The Play Store prioritizes user safety. Apps with security vulnerabilities, unpatched critical bugs, or those prone to data breaches will face delisting. Strong security practices are essential.

User Privacy: Google requires developers to clearly disclose what data is collected from users and how it's used. User consent for data collection and adherence to data privacy regulations are crucial.

Spam & Disruptive Ads: Apps with intrusive or excessive ads that negatively impact user experience can be delisted. Play Store promotes fair and non-disruptive ad practices.

Copyright & Trademark: Respecting intellectual property rights is essential. Apps infringing on copyrights or trademarks will be removed.

Functionality: Apps should function as described and provide value to users. Apps with limited functionality, bugs that hinder core features, or those crashing frequently might be delisted.

While most of the app developers properly follow the above steps while listing apps on Google Play, most of the app delisting done by play store authorities is not a very accurate process. Hoping these processes become error free going forward.