Google has decided to postpone its new billing policy in India to April 2022. The policy is Google getting about 30 percent of a cut for the in-app purchases made in any app published on Play Store.
However, the delay has only been implemented in India over the concerns raised by Indian startups. The company plans to make the policy go live globally in September 2021.
These startups include Paytm, Razorpay, ShareChat, Dream11, IndiaMART, etc. The concerns arose after Google banned Paytm from the Play Store over gambling issues even though the ban ended just after a few hours.
The ban was put into action just when the IPL season was about to begin which made Paytm clarify and raise questions that why Google didn’t inform about the issues way before when the IPL initially got delayed.
An industry executive stated, “IPL was delayed initially then why did Google wait for so long? And why is that Google has a problem with gambling in India, whereas it permits similar activities in all its other markets? The Indian government has no issues with it.”
Director of Business Development of Games & Applications at Google Play Purnima Kochikar said, “We are setting up listening sessions with many leading Indian startups to understand their concerns in a better manner. We will also be setting up Policy Workshops to help clear any queries about our Play Store policies. And we have decided to extend the time for developers in India to integrate with the Play billing system. This is being done to ensure that the developers have enough time to implement the UPI for the subscription payment option that will be made available on Google Play, for all apps that at present use some alternative payment system the company has set 31st March 2022 as the timeline.”
She further added, “The Company has always said that developers should have a choice on how they want to distribute their apps, and app stores should compete for consumers’ and developers’ business.”
Last week, Google had announced that it would no longer allow any apps to avoid its 30% cut policy payment system within the Play Store.
Google took this big step as a direct response to the biggest ever scrutiny that it has received in a decade in India. India has been the biggest market of Google by users but also a place where it generates more revenue.
About 150 Indian startups last week formed an informal coalition to fight Google’s stronghold on the Indian app ecosystem. According to research firm Counterpoint, Google commands 99 percent of the smartphone market in India and many businesses in India have been expressing concerns over the way Google has imposed its policies in India.
However, the matter escalated last month after the company temporarily pulled down the Paytm app from the Play Store for promoting gambling. As a result, India is also looking to introduce its own alternative to Google Play Store and Apple App Store which would have more lenient policies for Indian startups.