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Google suspends Chinese shopping app Pinduoduo amid malware concerns

Google warned users on Tuesday to uninstall any Pinduoduo app not downloaded from its own Play store.
Google warned users on Tuesday to uninstall any Pinduoduo app not downloaded from its own Play store. Google warned users on Tuesday to uninstall any Pinduoduo app not downloaded from its own Play store.

Google has suspended the Chinese shopping platform Pinduoduo on its app store after malware was discovered in versions of the app from other sources.

Google said it suspended the Pinduoduo app on the Google Play store out of “security concerns” and that it was investigating.

The suspension of the app – mainly used in China – comes amid heightened tensions over Chinese-owned apps such as TikTok, which some US legislators say could be a national security threat.

They allege that such apps could be used to spy on American users.

Pinduoduo is a popular e-commerce app in China which often offers discounts if users team up to buy multiples of an item.

Many Chinese online shopping platforms offer downloads of the app.

Google warned users on Tuesday to uninstall any Pinduoduo app not downloaded from its own Play store.

“Google Play Protect enforcement has been set to block installation attempts of these identified malicious apps,” the tech giant said in a statement.

“Users that have malicious versions of the app downloaded to their devices are warned and prompted to uninstall the app.”

It is unclear if there are similar security concerns around the Pinduoduo app for Apple users, and it was still available to download from Apple’s iOS store on Tuesday.

In a statement, Pinduoduo said that Google had not shared more details with the company beyond informing it that the current version of its app was “not compliant with Google’s policy”.

“We strongly reject the speculation and accusation that Pinduoduo app is malicious just from a generic and non-conclusive response from Google,” Pinduoduo said.