Paytm was briefly removed from the Google Play store last week for violating the content rules of the platform. When the financial services application was restored within a few hours, Paytm published a blog post stating that Google removed it for not complying with its gambling policy. The post also accused the tech giant of “making policies beyond legal requirements” and “arbitrarily implementing them” in India. Now, Google has issued a statement that refutes this claim: “The mere provision of cash back and coupons does not constitute an offence.”
Paytm accuses Google of violating its policies
Paytm briefly introduced why the app was removed from the Play Store in a blog posted on Sunday. It said that on September 11, it launched a UPI cash back campaign called Paytm Cricket League. Here, “Users can collect cricket stickers and scratch cards to get UPI cash back.” On September 18, Paytm received an email from the Google Play support team stating that the app has been delisted. “Your app contains content that does not comply with the gambling policy because the games it provides have “loyalty” (such as participation or activity). These points can be (1) generated or accelerated through real currency purchases, and (2) can The exchange email read: “Items or prizes with real-world currency value. “
Paytm said this is the first time Google has sent notifications about UPI cash back and scratch card activities to the app. The blog post stated: “Contrary to accepted practice, we have no opportunity to respond to their concerns or raise our views. We insist that our cash back activities comply with the guidelines and all land laws. We have not violated any rules, nor did we violate Any rules. It has nothing to do with gambling.”
Paytm went on to point out that the tech giant has the Android operating system, which is used by more than 95% of smartphones in India. It said: “So Google has great control over which apps are downloaded through the Play Store policy. It also receives billions of dollars in advertising revenue from the Indian startups that make these apps. In many cases, such as maps , Email, payment, shopping, cloud storage, etc. Google also has applications that can compete with other applications, including of course applications made by Indian startups.”
It added: “As a start-up, we are running a law-abiding business and doing business for India. The policies set by Google and its employees go beyond the laws of our country and are being implemented arbitrarily.”
In response to a blog post, a Google spokesperson said that under its new Play Store gambling policy, online casinos or unregulated gambling applications that promote sports betting are not allowed on the platform.
This is the complete statement:
“Only offering cash back and coupons does not violate our Google Play gambling policy. Last week, we reiterated the Play Store gambling policy. Our policy does not allow online casinos or support any promotion of sports betting (including daily fantasy sports in India) An unregulated gambling application. We are very careful to implement our policy to provide consumers with a safe experience, while also providing developers with the platforms and tools needed to build a sustainable business. If the policy is repeatedly violated, we may Take tougher measures, including terminating the Google Play developer account. Our policy always applies to all developers.”
After Paytm is listed again in the Google Play store within a few hours, the Paytm First Games app will no longer be available for download through the online app store.
Disclosure: One97, Paytm’s parent company, is an investor in TechnologyShout.
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