Major Iranian apps suspended from Google Play as US sanctions bite

LONDON: Two popular Iranian apps have been suspended from Google Play Store following sanctions imposed by the US.

London-based Farsi network Iran International reported on Monday that e-commerce company Digikala and ridesharing app Tapsi have been removed indefinitely from the app store for allegedly not conforming with US sanctions against Iran.

The tech giant explained via email that the decision was taken in accordance with US legislation regulating exports trade to certain countries.

“Products on Google Play may be subject to United States’ and other jurisdictions’ export control and sanctions laws and regulations,” Google said.

This is not the first time Google has removed Iranian apps from its platform.

Digikala and Tapsi were previously removed from Google Play but later reinstated on the platform following legal proceedings.

Earlier in June, Divar, a popular online marketplace, was banned from Google Play for the same reason.

A spokesperson for Divar announced that they are following all legal paths to restore the app, adding that the app’s absence on Google Play “can cause the spread of malware by abusing the name and brand of Divar in the official Google store and represent a violation to the rights of users.”

Google Play Store has been unavailable to users in Iran since last October following a crackdown by the Iranian government.