The company has criticized the cherry-picking of its app, arguing that other apps have been suspended at the same time and it’s not fair to single out their app.
Google has temporarily suspended Pinduoduo, a leading Chinese budget shopping app, from its Play Store due to the discovery of malware in certain versions of the app.
The news of Pinduoduo’s ban came just a couple of weeks after Shein, another Chinese shopping giant, was caught copying clipboard content on Android phones of users who were using its older version.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Google stated that it found malware in some versions of the app that were not available on the Play Store. The company has enforced Google Play Protect, which scans installed Android phone apps for malicious behaviour, on these allegedly harmful apps.
Google has set the Play Protect enforcement to block the installation of these apps and prompt users to uninstall them if they have already downloaded them to their devices.
Pinduoduo has confirmed that it is in communication with Google for further information, and it has also stated that several other apps have been suspended at the same time. Pinduoduo has over 900 million users and is one of China’s most popular e-commerce platforms.
Pinduoduo made a name for itself with its group-buying business model, which allowed users to save money by pooling together and buying items in bulk.
The app’s US-listed parent company, PDD, launched Temu, an online shopping platform in the United States last year, which has quickly become the most downloaded app in the US for both iOS and Android.
The app has been downloaded 24 million times since its launch in September and has more than 11 million monthly active users.
In a statement, Pinduoduo said that “we strongly reject the speculation and accusation by some anonymous researcher and non-conclusive response from Google that Pinduoduo app is malicious.”
Malware refers to any software developed to steal data or damage computer systems and mobile devices. When hidden in apps, it can be used to gain unauthorized access to information on a user’s phone.
Google has not mentioned Temu in its statement, and the app is still available to download on the Play Store. Pinduoduo has strongly rejected the accusations of malicious activity and speculation surrounding the suspension of its app.
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