google play store policy: ETtech Explainer: Why did Google delist popular Indian apps like Naukri, Shaadi, others?

israel: Israel's judicial proposals prompt startups to relocate: government agency

Google on Friday removed several popular apps by ten Indian developers from its Play Store, citing non-compliance with billing policies. This move has sparked a contentious dispute between the tech giant and Indian developers over what they perceive as Google’s “unfair” policies. But less than a day later, it started reinstating some of the apps on the Play Store, which began complying with its billing norms.

Which apps have been impacted?

Among the delisted apps were Bharat Matrimony, Telugu Matrimony, Tamil Matrimony, Marathi Matrimony,’s Jodii and People Group’s, along with dating apps Truly Madly and QuackQuack.

Elevate Your Tech Prowess with High-Value Skill Courses

Offering College Course Website
IIM Kozhikode IIMK Advanced Data Science For Managers Visit
MIT MIT Technology Leadership and Innovation Visit
Indian School of Business ISB Professional Certificate in Product Management Visit

Vernacular video-streaming platform Stage, Balaji Telefilms’ Altt and audio streaming and podcast app Kuku FM have also been taken down from the Play Store. On Saturday, however, few of the apps including Info Edge’s Naukri, 99acres, and People Group’s were reinstated.

Also read | Info Edge shares fall 3% after Google removes Naukri, 99acres apps from Play Store

Why did Google remove these apps from its Play Store?

Google took this action following its announcement to enforce its payment policy, which involves removing apps from developers who fail to comply.

Discover the stories of your interest

Google clarified that out of the developers using Google Play, only ten Indian developers had chosen not to pay for the services, while over 200,000 others followed the billing policies. Allowing only ten developers to receive different treatment creates an unfair environment and disadvantages other apps and games, Google said.

According to Google, developers had more than three years to prepare for these policies, with an additional three weeks following a Supreme Court order on February 9, where it refused to stop Google from removing non-compliant apps from its Play Store, paving the way for the removal of apps that do not comply with the company’s billing policy.

Also read | Indian startups urge Google to not delist any app developers from Play Store till March 19

How have these companies responded?

Indian internet founders are calling for government intervention in reaction to the global internet giant’s move to delist several of these apps without warning.

“The government needs to intervene now and direct the CCI (Competition Commission of India) to ensure Google is in compliance with their order and immediately restore all apps that were delisted,” said Anupam Mittal, founder of People Group.

Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder and vice-chairman of Info Edge India, said that although Indian companies will adhere to Google’s policies for now, there should be an App Store/Play Store integrated into India’s Digital Public Infrastructure, similar to UPI and ONDC.

On February 21, ET reported that Walmart-owned payments company PhonePe formally launched its mobile app marketplace, Indus Appstore, in an attempt to rival the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store. PhonePe said the platform would be free for developers for the first year, after which a nominal annual fee would apply.

What is the Play Store billing issue — which is at the heart of the slugfest?

Google’s Play Store is a key platform for app developers to reach a wide audience. However, for years, developers worldwide have been at odds with Google over the steep commission fees imposed for listing apps on the Play Store. Even though Google gradually reduced its fee from the initial 30% in response to global pushback, developers argue that they still face financial strain.

In India, developers have actively sought relief from these policies. This led to the CCI directing Google to allow developers alternative payment options, rather than mandating the use of the Google Play Billing System.

In response, Google introduced the user-choice billing system, which provides alternative payment methods but includes a commission on in-app purchases.

Despite the introduction of the user-choice billing system, developers and startups argue that the commission fees imposed by Google still significantly impact their margins.

Why do internet companies prefer non-Google payment options for in-app purchases?

Internet companies prefer non-Google payment options for in-app purchases because they don’t have to pay Google any commission when transactions are made through platforms like Paytm, UPI, and Razorpay.

Under the Google Play Billing System, developers have to pay a service fee of 15-30% per transaction. In contrast, other payment processors charge only 1-5% commission for the same service. The user-choice billing system, too, attracts commission of 11-26%.

About 80% of transactions use non-Google payment options, showing that users strongly prefer these alternatives. Additionally, these transactions have better features, such as faster settlement periods, than those made through the Google Play Billing System, as per the CCI issue note.

What is the way forward for the impacted apps and internet companies?

Google said that developers could resubmit their apps for listing on the Play Store by choosing one of three billing options outlined in their Payments Policy. These options include operating on a consumption-only basis without a service fee, integrating Google Play’s billing system, or offering an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s for users in India.

However, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) which represents these Indian startups said that its affected members believe that a significant hearing of the case is still pending before the Supreme Court of India, and Google should refrain from taking any forceful action while the case is ongoing.

The Indian government said on Saturday that the removal of Indian apps cannot be allowed and announced that Google and the affected startups have been summoned for a meeting next week.

Source link

Online Company Registration in India

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *