- Google is delaying its plans to charge a 30% mandatory Play Store commission in India.
- The company’s decision seems like a reaction to the retaliation from Indian startups.
- Indian payments startup Paytm has already launched a rival app store with some popular apps.
Google is deferring its controversial new Play Store billing policy in India to March 31, 2022. The new rules stop apps from circumventing Google’s payment system and are scheduled to come into effect globally from September 21. They will ensure Google gets its 30% commission on all paid apps and in-app purchases.
In its latest blog post, Google says that it’s setting up listening sessions and policy workshops with leading Indian startups. The internet giant is also extending the time for developers in India to integrate the Google Play billing system so they can implement a UPI payment option. UPI is a unified payment system in India that facilitates the instant transfer of funds between two bank accounts. It is widely used for online transactions in the country and Google Pay is one of the many apps that offer the payment method.
In addition, Google also clarifies that its policy of taking a 30% cut on Play Store transactions is not new. The company claims that more than 97% of developers with apps on the Google Play Store already comply with it. Google also reiterates that the policy only applies to less than 3% of developers. While Google will enforce its in-app purchase policies more strictly in the future, it has promised that it’ll provide better third-party store support in Android 12.
Indian startups fire back
Google’s decision to delay the enforcement of its new policy in India comes days after reports of retaliation from Indian startups. Last week, it was reported that 150 startups in the country are mulling an alternative app marketplace that can take on the Google Play Store. In fact, Paytm, one of the largest wallet apps in India, has already launched a mini app store containing popular apps such as 1mg, Practo, Domino’s Pizza, Gaana, and more. The startup claims that more than 300 firms have signed up for its Play Store rival.
Google surely chose the wrong time to announce its policy revisions, especially since Apple is already facing criticism for requiring app developers to use its payment systems. We’ll have to wait and see if this retaliation from Indian startups stirs up a larger mutiny against Google’s policy revisions globally.