Google has suspended Chinese shopping app Pinduoduo from its app store after versions of the app from other sources were found to have malware.
HONG KONG — Google has suspended Chinese shopping app Pinduoduo from its app store after versions of the app from other sources were found to have malware.
Google said Tuesday it has suspended the Pinduoduo app from the Google Play app store for “security reasons” and is investigating the matter.
The suspension of the Pinduoduo app, which is primarily used in China, comes as tensions escalate between the US and China over Chinese-owned apps like TikTok that some US lawmakers say could pose a national security risk. They claim that such applications can be used to spy on US users.
Pinduoduo is a popular e-commerce app in China that often offers discounts if users join together to purchase multiple items. On Tuesday, Google warned users to remove any Pinduoduo app not downloaded from its own Play Store. App downloads for Android and even iOS can often be found on websites that allow people to download apps without going to the official app stores.
“Google Play Protect has been configured to block attempts to install these identified malicious apps,” Google said in a statement. “Users who have malicious versions of the app downloaded to their devices are warned and asked to uninstall the app.”
It was unclear if there were similar security issues in the Pinduoduo app for Apple users, and Pinduoduo was still available for download from the Apple iOS store on Tuesday.
Pinduoduo said in a statement that Google hasn’t shared more details with the company other than saying that the current version of its app “doesn’t comply with Google’s policies.”
“We strongly reject suggestions and allegations that the Pinduoduo app is malicious based solely on Google’s general and inconclusive response,” Pinduoduo said in a statement.
The company’s shares traded in Hong Kong fell 14.2% on Tuesday.