Vietnam forces Google app purge over 56 titles

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Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications has confirmed it was behind the removal by Google of 56 Vietnamese-language gambling apps from the Google Play store.

16 of the apps, which offered card, casino and lottery games, were found to be illegally exploiting user data, and were removed as of 3 October.

Another 40 apps were removed by the tech multinational after the Vietnam’s Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information ruled that they contravened the country’s strict ban on online casino gambling.

Though Google began permitting real money gambling apps on the Google Play store in August 2017, the permissions only applied to users in the UK, Ireland and France.

In a statement published via the Vietnamese government’s website, Google’s head of public policy and government relations for the Apac market Helena Lersch stated any gambling apps “flagged by local authorities” would be removed by the company.

The decision follows a similar move by rival Apple in August, which deleted 2,000 gambling and 500 lottery apps from its China-facing App Store.

The California-based firm confirmed it had removed “many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps,” and would remain “vigilant” to the practice in future.

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