Google feels the ‘heat’ in India, delays key Play Store decision – Times of India

Last week, Google updated some of is Play Store policies for app developers across the world. However, now the company has announced that the policy has been delayed in India. In a detailed statement shared by the company, Google said that it “heard some additional questions from the community in India” and wanted to address to them.
“We are setting up listening sessions with leading Indian startups to understand their concerns more deeply…and and we’re also extending the time for developers in India to integrate with the Play billing system, to ensure they have enough time to implement the UPI for subscription payment option that will be made available on Google Play — for all apps that currently use an alternative payment system we set a timeline of 31st March 2022,” said Purnima Kochikar, Director of Business Development, Games & Applications, Google Play
Google has made it mandatory for app developers on the Play Store to use its in-app payment system. Developers will have to use Google’s payment system, under which it takes 30% fee from app developers. Google made it clear “this policy is only applicable to less than 3% of developers with apps on Google Play.” For all app developers, the timeline was till September 30, 2021.
However, in India, it clearly has delayed the timeline as there have been ‘issues’ cropping up with leading app developers, mainly Paytm. It hasn’t been the best of the times for Google and some popular apps in the world. Globally, it has been facing issues with Epic Games (creator of Fortnite) and closer home it is Paytm that locked horns with Google.
Google had removed Paytm from Play Store for a short while for violating certain guidelines. Paytm fixed them but has been making noises about Google monopolising the app space and making it unfair on app developers.
A report by The Economic Times had revealed that leading Indian startups had formed a coalition to counter Google’s Play Store policies.
“We have always said developers should have a choice in how they distribute their apps, and that stores should compete for consumers’ and developers’ business,” Google said in its statement. It further reiterated its “commitment” to India. “At Google we have always had a long and deep commitment to India, and working alongside the startups and developers has given us a more meaningful understanding of how technology can be more helpful. And so we remain committed to engaging with the community, to listen and find the right ways to help the Indian ecosystem grow and flourish,” added Kochikar in the statement.
One could perhaps say that this is the biggest challenge Google is facing in a long time in India. With Paytm announcing a ‘mini’ app store and certain other startups mulling future course of action, Google seems to be facing the heat in India.


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Sagar Biswas

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