Google has stopped users from downloading the Chinese ecommerce app Pinduoduo on its Play store citing the discovery of malware, while sibling app Temu remains available.
The ban only applies to users outside China since Google Play is blocked in the country. In China, Pinduoduo is available for download in local Android app stores run by Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and others.
Google said in a statement that it found malware in some versions of Pinduoduo available for download outside the Play store.
“Users that have malicious versions of the app downloaded to their devices are warned and prompted to uninstall the app,” the company said.
"Google has taken action to prevent the installation of harmful apps by setting up the Google Play Protect security feature. This feature blocks users from installing such apps and notifies those who have already installed them to remove them from their devices."
A Pinduoduo spokesperson tells Campaign Asia-Pacific it strongly reject the speculation and accusation that Pinduoduo app is malicious from an anonymous researcher.
“Google Play informed us on March 21 morning that Pinduoduo APP, among several other apps, was temporarily suspended as the current version is not compliant with Google’s Policy, but has not shared more details. We are communicating with Google for more information. We have been told that there are several other apps that have been suspended as well,” the spokesperson said.
Chinese apps are increasingly under scrutiny in the US for security concerns, with Bytedance-owned TikTok facing the threat of a ban. The US government has asked the parent company to spin off the app or face a ban.
TikTok's CEO, the Singaporean-born Shou Zi Chew is set to testify before the Congress this week. He is expected to face aggressive questioning from lawmakers on the app's ties with the Chinese government and handling of private user data.
Our CEO, Shou Chew, shares a special message on behalf of the entire TikTok team to thank our community of 150 million Americans ahead of his congressional hearing later this week.♬ original sound - TikTok