Just like Apple, Google is about to face challenges when it comes to the Play Store’s billing. There are now concerns about the 30% charge of both Apple and Google on its respective app stores. Apple’s issue was further questioned when Epic Games started to challenge the Cupertino family. Now in India, Google is said to be postponing the enforcement of the new billing rule until April 2021. This is a result of a discussion among more than 150 startups and developers over their concerns about Google’s charge on the Play Store.
These developers have mentioned exploring an alternative marketplace for their mobile apps. India is the second-biggest Internet market in the world so such talks are important. Google also has an office in India so it should listen.
Google is scheduled to enforce the new Play Store rule by September 2021. That is still a year from today but the enforcement will be deferred to the following year. It will only happen in India. Google is set to discuss with the developers in the near future.
Google Play’s Director of Business Development of Games & Applications Purnima Kochikar said in a statement: “We are setting up listening sessions with leading Indian startups to understand their concerns more deeply. We will be setting up Policy Workshops to help clear any additional questions about our Play Store policies.”
Developers in India will be given enough time to “integrate with the Play billing system”. This is to ensure that they can properly implement the UPI for a subscription payment option. The timeline will be March 31, 2020 for those who presently use an alternative payment system.
Google wants a 30% cut of the apps distributed via the Play Store. Apple also does this but now both companies are getting scrutiny. Google should think about this issue because Android has a 99% share of the market in India. The concerns have been shared with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in India over a video call by over 50 Indian executives.
There is now an alternative app store in India—the Paytm mini app store. It features apps for other popular services like Ola, 1mg and Practo, Cure.fit, Booking.com, and Zoomcar among others. No commission will be asked but a 2% charge will be collected for other instruments used for mobile payment. It’s made for the Indian devs by an Indian.
This is a developing story. Let’s wait and see how Google will really respond to this issue.