MetaTrader Apps Removed from Indian Google Play Store

by Damian Chmiel
  • MetaQuotes' mobile platforms are blocked in India, affecting a large investor base.
  • Regulatory actions against unregulated FX trading in the country may have led to this ban.
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The company behind the popular trading applications MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), is experiencing accessibility issues in India, which hosts one-fifth of the world's retail investors. Reports from local media indicate that MetaqQuotes' platforms have been blocked in the Google Play Store India.

MetaTrader Blocked in India

This development was highlighted last week on the Forex Salary channel, subscribed to by 120,000 people and run by an Indian YouTuber, showing that MT4 and MT5 were removed and banned from the Indian version of the Android app store.

Considering that, according to Statista, 95% of people in India use Android devices rather than iOS, this could pose a significant problem for the local investment industry. While specific reasons for this decision are hard to find, recent actions by the local government and the central bank, which have repeatedly warned against the activities of unregulated brokers in 2023, may offer some clues.

The local government considers retail trading in FX to be a form of gambling, speculative, and too risky for retail investors, making the trade legal but heavily restricted for small market participants.

To confirm its hard stance, in November 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) updated its list of warnings about "illegal" FX trading platforms, including many popular international brands such as Easy Markets, Admiral Markets, and HF Markets, bringing the total number of flagged names to 75.

Latest central bank's warnings from November 2023. Source: RBI
Latest central bank's warnings from November 2023. Source: RBI

"There would be far more scrutiny by banks on account holders making forex transactions on non-authorized platforms, including apps," one of the officials who didn't want to be named said in an interview with India Times in November. "The regulator wants lenders to further ensure that Know Your Customers norms for all parties in such transactions are strictly followed."

Repeat Issue, but This Time Local

For MetaQuotes, this is not the first issue with mobile app stores. In September 2022, a ban on the MT4 and MT5 apps in Apple's App Store, which affected all markets, made headlines. Though the reasons for the decision were unclear, there was speculation that it was related to trading scams published in the iOS app store, impersonating popular trading platforms.

After nearly six months, MetaQuotes' applications returned to the mobile store, following a lengthy re-listing process where the company had to provide Apple with extensive explanations about operational, technical aspects and other required information. It remains to be seen whether the issue with the Indian Google Play Store can be resolved in a similar manner or if regulatory pressure from the authorities will prove too significant.

"We are happy that the situation has been resolved, and we managed to find an understanding with Apple," said Renat Fatkhullin, the CEO of MetaQuotes, . "Our company respects the requirements of any marketplace and always strives to meet them. We feel responsible to our users, and, therefore, we did our best to provide clarifications on the issues raised from Apple in a timely manner. I also want to thank the traders, brokers, and media, who actively showed their support."

Problems in the Prop Trading Industry as Well

Regulations in the United States and globally have also led MetaQuotes to crack down on prop trading firms. In its latest move, the technology company forced Blackbull Markets, which had marked its MT5 license as a grey label for prop trading firms, to cease providing services for Funding Pips.

This action caused significant chaos in the industry and a wave of suspensions of many prop firms, especially concerning servicing new and existing clients from the USA. Over the last two weeks, prop firms have begun migrating from the widely used MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms to competitor platforms, including Match-Trader, cTrader, and DXTrade. The evolving situation can be followed in a special table prepared by Finance Magnates.

"The providers, that are not dependent on MQ, will certainly participate in the redistribution and will onboard all the MQ refugees," commented Evgeny Sorokin, the Chief Product Officer at Devexperts. "They will (or already have) put necessary (mainly legal, but also technical) controls in place, enhancing KYB processes while offering services to all the legitimate props. While opportunists may exploit the situation, this would also happen with traditional FX/CFD trading players."

The company behind the popular trading applications MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), is experiencing accessibility issues in India, which hosts one-fifth of the world's retail investors. Reports from local media indicate that MetaqQuotes' platforms have been blocked in the Google Play Store India.

MetaTrader Blocked in India

This development was highlighted last week on the Forex Salary channel, subscribed to by 120,000 people and run by an Indian YouTuber, showing that MT4 and MT5 were removed and banned from the Indian version of the Android app store.

Considering that, according to Statista, 95% of people in India use Android devices rather than iOS, this could pose a significant problem for the local investment industry. While specific reasons for this decision are hard to find, recent actions by the local government and the central bank, which have repeatedly warned against the activities of unregulated brokers in 2023, may offer some clues.

The local government considers retail trading in FX to be a form of gambling, speculative, and too risky for retail investors, making the trade legal but heavily restricted for small market participants.

To confirm its hard stance, in November 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) updated its list of warnings about "illegal" FX trading platforms, including many popular international brands such as Easy Markets, Admiral Markets, and HF Markets, bringing the total number of flagged names to 75.

Latest central bank's warnings from November 2023. Source: RBI
Latest central bank's warnings from November 2023. Source: RBI

"There would be far more scrutiny by banks on account holders making forex transactions on non-authorized platforms, including apps," one of the officials who didn't want to be named said in an interview with India Times in November. "The regulator wants lenders to further ensure that Know Your Customers norms for all parties in such transactions are strictly followed."

Repeat Issue, but This Time Local

For MetaQuotes, this is not the first issue with mobile app stores. In September 2022, a ban on the MT4 and MT5 apps in Apple's App Store, which affected all markets, made headlines. Though the reasons for the decision were unclear, there was speculation that it was related to trading scams published in the iOS app store, impersonating popular trading platforms.

After nearly six months, MetaQuotes' applications returned to the mobile store, following a lengthy re-listing process where the company had to provide Apple with extensive explanations about operational, technical aspects and other required information. It remains to be seen whether the issue with the Indian Google Play Store can be resolved in a similar manner or if regulatory pressure from the authorities will prove too significant.

"We are happy that the situation has been resolved, and we managed to find an understanding with Apple," said Renat Fatkhullin, the CEO of MetaQuotes, . "Our company respects the requirements of any marketplace and always strives to meet them. We feel responsible to our users, and, therefore, we did our best to provide clarifications on the issues raised from Apple in a timely manner. I also want to thank the traders, brokers, and media, who actively showed their support."

Problems in the Prop Trading Industry as Well

Regulations in the United States and globally have also led MetaQuotes to crack down on prop trading firms. In its latest move, the technology company forced Blackbull Markets, which had marked its MT5 license as a grey label for prop trading firms, to cease providing services for Funding Pips.

This action caused significant chaos in the industry and a wave of suspensions of many prop firms, especially concerning servicing new and existing clients from the USA. Over the last two weeks, prop firms have begun migrating from the widely used MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms to competitor platforms, including Match-Trader, cTrader, and DXTrade. The evolving situation can be followed in a special table prepared by Finance Magnates.

"The providers, that are not dependent on MQ, will certainly participate in the redistribution and will onboard all the MQ refugees," commented Evgeny Sorokin, the Chief Product Officer at Devexperts. "They will (or already have) put necessary (mainly legal, but also technical) controls in place, enhancing KYB processes while offering services to all the legitimate props. While opportunists may exploit the situation, this would also happen with traditional FX/CFD trading players."

About the Author: Damian Chmiel
Damian Chmiel
  • 1378 Articles
  • 28 Followers
About the Author: Damian Chmiel
Damian's adventure with financial markets began at the Cracow University of Economics, where he obtained his MA in finance and accounting. Starting from the retail trader perspective, he collaborated with brokerage houses and financial portals in Poland as an independent editor and content manager. His adventure with Finance Magnates began in 2016, where he is working as a business intelligence analyst.
  • 1378 Articles
  • 28 Followers

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