Google is postponing the introduction of its latest Play Store billing policy in India until April 2022, days after more than 150 startups forged an informal alliance in the world’s second-largest internet market to raise concerns about the 30 percent fee the Android-maker plans to mandate on its store and began seeking an alternative marketplace for its software.
The business, which is going to live globally in September 2021 with the new Play Store law, is only deferring the implementation of the policy in India, it said. It also listens to developers and is prepared to participate to ease their concerns, it said.
To understand their issues more thoroughly, we set up listening sessions with leading Indian startups. To further answer any potential concerns about our Play Store policies, we will set up Policy Sessions. And we are also extending the period for developers in India to integrate with the Play billing system to ensure that they have enough time to introduce the subscription payment method UPI that will be made available on Google Play. We have set a deadline of 31 March 2022 for all apps currently using an alternative payment system,” said Purnima Kochikar, Director of Business Development of Games & A.
Google said last week that it will no longer enable any applications inside the Play Store to bypass its payment system. The step, pitched by Google as a “clarification” of its current policy, would allow the company to ensure that in-app purchases made by Android apps operating in a variety of categories are reduced by as much as 30 percent.
Google’s announcement today is a direct response to the loudest criticism it has faced in a decade in India, its largest consumer market, but also a position where it generates little revenue compared to Western markets. Last week, more than 150 startups in India formed an informal alliance to combat the company’s powerful grip on the Indian ecosystem of apps. According to research firm Counterpoint, Google controls 99 percent of the smartphone market in India.
Paytm, India’s most valuable startup, payment processor Razorpay, fantasy sports company Dream11, social network ShareChat, and business e-coco are among the startups that have raised reservations regarding Google’s new strategy.
According to three individuals who attended the call, more than 50 Indian executives relayed these concerns to India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology via a video call on Saturday.
Google said that Paytm had consistently violated its rules, and the Play Store of the company has long banned apps in India that encourage gambling. In recent weeks, Google has sent notices to many more companies in India about gambling alerts.
A senior industry executive told that month before the successful IPL cricket tournament was scheduled to begin; the company should have voiced these concerns. Apps for fantasy sports allow users to select their favorite players and teams.
“The IPL was also postponed for months. Why was it that Google took so long? And why does the business, when it allows such activities in other markets, have a problem with so-called gambling in India? There’s no problem with the Indian government, “the executive said, requesting anonymity.
Several Indian companies have long raised doubts about how Google has introduced its policies in India, but the problem escalated last month after the company temporarily removed the Paytm app from the Play Store to encourage gambling.