The tech-giant company Google has been on the receiving end of criticism after it deleted two Indian applications from its store citing policy violations. The two applications being Mitron, the Tik-Tok like application and the ‘Remove China Apps’.
‘Mitron; was an application developed by a Pakistani software development company Qboxus which was later purchased by an Indian student. ‘Mitron’ was proving to be a competition to ‘Tik-Tok’ after the latter was hit by the controversy of discrete content. Another application, ‘Remove China Apps’ was an application that will let the user delete the Chinese origin applications on their phone.
The application became popular after the trend of boycotting Chinese products began on social media. The application had reached 10 lakh downloads already. Both these applications were disappeared from the Google play store overnight.
Incidentally, Google also had deleted the negative reviews for the Chinese owned ‘Tik-Tok’ from its play store. The company is yet to clarify the reason for doing so.
Why Google Might be Biased Towards China
The relationship between Google and China has seen various ups and downs over two decades. It began in 2000 when Google began providing search services for Chinese users. In 2004, Google launched Simplified Google Chinese news. In 2006, after the name of the Simplified Google Chinese News was changed to Google Information, the tech giant began its customized search engine for China that was heavily censored by the Chinese government.
The Chinese later blocked Youtube after it displayed content against the Chinese regime and as late as 2010, Google announced that it would pull out of the country and will not censor its searches anymore. Before it backed out of the country, Google China had a market of 338 million users in the country. In 2010, Google China had a market share of 29 percent but it drastically came down to 5 percent in 2012 and further down to 1.7 percent in 2013.
Since 2016, Google has been trying to venture back into the country. A range of summits and customized software were built for the Chinese market in between 2016 to 2018. However, in 2018, Google launched the DragonFly project – to launch a censored version of its search engine in China. There were reports that Beijing was welcoming of Google if they are willing to abide by its censorship laws. However, due to a clash within the company, Google announced that the project as been effectively shut down.
Although the company denies it, Google has been trying to make its presence felt in one of the biggest markets in the world. The efforts for the same is believed to be underway.
China’s Censorship Policy
As per section 5 of the Computer Information Network and Internet Security, Protection and Management Regulations, no unit or individual may use the internet to create, replicate, retrieve, or transmit things that may incite to resist or obstruct implementation of Constitution, to overthrow the government, to divide the country, to create hatred and discrimination among ethnic groups, to distort truths, defaming state organizations and to insult other people.