Popular mobile payments app MobiKwik disappeared from the Google Play Store for a while but is now back. Thankfully. The reason for why the MobiKwik app was de-listed from the Play Store, albeit for a while, is most likely because the app provides a link to the Aarogya Setu app. At least that is what MobiKwik claimed. Google’s systems perhaps flagged MobiKwik for violating the Deceptive Ads policy that is part of the guidelines for all app developers who publish on the Play Store for Android devices.
While Google is yet to offer an official statement on why this happened, the MobiKwik app has been relisted and is available on the Play Store for the millions of Android smartphones and tablets. Interesting enough, the MobiKwik app for Android phones does not have the Aarogya Setu app advert now. It is likely that the app developers published a new version of the MobiKwik app on the Play Store, after removing the Aarogya Setu app advert, to confirm with the Play Store policies regarding in-app advertising.
Earlier, Bipin Preet Singh, the CEO of MobiKwik had tweeted, “Hey @GoogleIndia @GooglePlay you removed @MobiKwik app from play store because we had a link to Aarogya Setu app. We were asked to do this by regulators (@RBI) and understand it’s in public health interest. You have too much power!”
At the time of writing this, the Google Play Store lists the MobiKiwk version 20.16.4 which was updated and published on May 28. The changelog for the update simply says "Multiple bug fixes and performance enhancements'. In India, digital payments and transactions are gaining traction during the lockdown. MobiKwik is competing with the likes of Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, WhatsApp Pay and Airtel Payments Bank, to name a few.
Hey @GoogleIndia @GooglePlay you removed @MobiKwik app from play store because we had a link to Aarogya Setu app. We were asked to do this by regulators ( @RBI ) and understand it’s in public health interest. You have too much power ! Cc @CCI_India @amitabhk87 @PMOIndia @rsprasad pic.twitter.com/ftv5KIZCAy— Bipin Preet Singh (@BipinSingh) May 28, 2020