Google Delays Enforcing 30 Percent In-App Fees in India
Google has pushed back the enforcement of its 30 percent in-app commission for developers using Google Play billing system in India until March 31, 2022. The new move comes after uproar by various Indian entrepreneurs and app developers regarding the change that the search giant announced last week. That update was aiming to make it mandatory for all apps available via Google Play to implement the Play billing system and offer the commission to Google for their in-app purchases.
Unlike the earlier enforcement of in-app commission that is still in place for global developers and comes with a deadline of September 30, 2021, Google has given the additional time specifically to Indian app developers. It is “to ensure they have enough time to implement the UPI for subscription option that will be made available on Google Play — for all apps that currently use an alternative payment system”, the company said in a blog post.
Google is also setting up “listening sessions with leading Indian startups” to understand their concerns. Additionally, it is planning Policy Workshops to provide clarity on its Play Store policies.
“We consider it extremely important to understand the concerns across the ecosystem, and these listening sessions over the next several weeks will help us find comprehensive solutions that work for everyone,” the company noted.
Last week, Google stated that more than 97 percent of developers with apps on Google Play had already complied with the policy of giving the in-app commission by using its native billing system. That was meant to emphasise that the enforcement of the commission would impact less than three percent of developers offering apps on Google Play.
However, entrepreneurs including Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma and GOQii’s Vishal Gondal started discussing the alternative to Google Play. Some Indian app developers also protested against the in-app commission that has been around for quite some time but is yet to be implemented as a default condition for all apps listed on Google Play offering in-app purchases.
Google stated in its previous announcement that new apps must use the Play billing system by January 20, while existing apps were given time until September 30, 2021. The decision followed lawsuits by Fornite maker Epic Games that accused Google and Apple of anti-competitive behaviour. Apps including Netflix, Match, and Spotify are amongst the ones that do not use Google’s billing system to avoid paying the in-app commission.
Is Android One holding back Nokia smartphones in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.