SINGAPORE – Days after the rapid rise of Singapore-based social media app Bondee, users have been hesitant to keep the app after allegations surfaced online earlier this week that it had misused information. of the credit card.
The app, which combines elements of the metaverse, online gaming and messaging, crossed one million downloads on Google Play and topped the App Store charts after its launch on January 15. Since then, it has dominated social media with users displaying their custom 3D avatars. and virtual rooms.
But speculation about Bondee’s data policies arose on social media after users posted screenshots of allegedly unauthorized bank transfers, claiming they had occurred after installing the Bondee app.
Some users also noted that Bondee’s visual style bore a striking resemblance to that of the Chinese app Zheli, which was once owned by Chinese tech company True.ly and went viral. Zheli was removed from app stores in early 2022 after its data privacy practices came under scrutiny. According to Metadream, Bondee bought the rights to True.ly in 2022.
Responding to the allegations about the use of credit card data, Bondee’s parent company, Metadream, said in a statement late Friday that the claims are false and that the startup does not collect credit card information.
Metadream said on Instagram: “Recently, it has come to our attention that rumors are circulating on various social media platforms alleging that Bondee users’ credit card information was leaked through the use of the Bondee platform.
“We would like to reassure our users that such rumors are false and untrue, as Metadream does not currently collect users’ credit card information or any other financial information. We have also conducted a proactive review of our systems and want to reassure our users that our systems and our users’ personal data remain safe and secure.”
Metadream added that it will take legal action against those who spread misinformation about its services.
After the statement was issued, some posts expressing concerns about Metadream’s data privacy practices were removed from social media.
The Straits Times has contacted Metadream and the police for comment.
Metadream has called itself an “independent technology company” which bought the rights to True.ly in May 2022, further developing its app for an international audience. Checks in the Singapore Business Directory show that Metadream was launched in September 2022 and has an office in Duo Tower in Bugis.
Bondee opened in January in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and other countries in the region. The next-generation networking app allows users to chat via text, with their animated avatars beaming expressions in the background on demand, and decorate their own virtual room, in the vein of The Sims simulation video game.
The app requires users to provide their name, account ID, password, mobile phone number, and date of birth, but does not collect any credit card information.