Is Google Playing Partial By Favouring TikTok?
Recently, Google removed Zynn from Google play store. Zynn was a successful competitor and a clone of TikTok.
Although, the reason provided by Google for removing the app was the copyright issues. Recently, several incidents have been registered, where Google is seen favoring TikTok in different ways.
Zynn was a clone of TikTok. Hence, Zynn had similar policies and interface, also that of TikTok.
TikTok rival companies created Zynn to compete against TikTok. In a short period, Zynn was gaining huge success. It was nominated as the best application on play store and was among top 10 free applications on Google play store.
Zynn provided money to its users for signing up, watching videos and referrals to friends.
It’s not just the first incidence where Google favored TikTok.
In another incident, due to a dispute between members of the YouTube community and TikTok, the rating of TikTok fell to 1.2 on Google play store.
Users started reporting TikTok and reviewing it with one-star ratings. Soon, Google decided to intervene. Hence, it leads to deletion of user ratings of millions of users. Due to this, TikTok ratings resurfaced to 4.4.
According to Google, the reviews posted mostly came from fake accounts. Although, it is interesting to know that there are millions of fake accounts working on Google play store raise a question on the security front.
Google just didn’t stop there! Soon after deleting the reviews, Google deleted “Mitron”.
Mitron launched in India to compete with TikTok. Mitron was a huge success, as it gained a user rating of 4.4 with 5 million users.
However, Google decided to bring down the application.
The reason provided by Google for removing Mitron was related to its poor functionality.
According to Google, Mitron violated its spam policy. They stated that the application didn’t fulfil the minimum functionality policy. Also had repetitive content, and failed to produce any original content of its own.
Certainly, India contributes a huge user database on Chinese application, TikTok.
Recently, due to the current pandemic events, people of India decided to boycott Chinese products. Several actions were taken in the process. People made sure that the boycott proves to be successful.
Soon, Twitter flashed with the hashtag of #BoycottChineseProducts. As a result, people started uninstalling Chinese applications, on their devices. This led to the creation of an application. This application was capable of determining the Chinese application installed on phones.
However, Google stepped up and took down the application.
According to Google, no application can insist on people to remove other application from their devices.
Google’s policy reads, “We don’t allow apps that attempt to deceive users or enable dishonest behavior including but not limited to apps which are determined to be functionally impossible. Apps must provide an accurate disclosure, description, and images/video of their functionality in all parts of the metadata and should perform as reasonably expected by the user. Apps must not attempt to mimic functionality or warnings from the operating system or other apps. Any changes to device settings must be made with the user’s knowledge and consent and be easily reversible by the user.”
OneTouchAppLabs an Indian startup developed the application. The company confirmed on twitter that the application doesn’t ask people to remove applications on their mobiles. The purpose of the application was to educate people.
In just a period of 10 days, the “remove china application” gained huge success. Millions of people downloaded the application. However, the people who have installed the application can keep using the application, but no new users will be able to download the application.
According to a cybersecurity expert: “The app scan focused on the installed android application package (APK) only. Hence, it doesn’t affect any change in stored personal data.”
After monitoring the current scenarios, It is difficult to understand the roleplay of Google.
It is difficult to decide if Googles’ decisions are effective? Or is it using its policies to favor TikTok, to create a TikTok monopoly in the market?