A few days ago, it was reported that Google would be imposing a 30% tax on all Android developers who use its Play Store operations for their transactions. However, this has not gone down too well with India. At least 150 startups joined hands together to boycott this unfair tax imposition by the tech giant, while simultaneously exploring the possibility of an alternate app store for housing their apps.
The latest news states that Google has pushed forth from implementing these strategies in India, at least till April 2022. Otherwise, it plans on imposing its 30% tax commission on a global level from September 2021 onwards. It has pushed forth its plans in India because it intends to understand the concerns that have been rooted in the minds of these Indian startups and try to help them out in the best possible way.
Purnima Kochikar, Director at Google Pay responsible for managing the Business Development of Games and Applications, went on to say, “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. And we’re also extending the time for developers in India to integrate with the Play billing system, to ensure they have enough time to implement the UPI for subscription payment option that will be made available on Google Play — for all apps that currently use an alternative payment system we set a timeline of 31st March 2022.”
Furthermore, she went on to say, “We have always said developers should have a choice in how they distribute their apps, and that stores should compete for consumers’ and developers’ business.”
During the previous week, Google announced that going further, apps would be required to make use of the payment system within the Google Play Store. The tech giant stated that it is simply providing a “clarification” to its already present policy beforehand. By imposing this rule, Google would be entitled to receive at least 30% commission from the sales money going to various Android apps that are housed within the Play Store.
Shortly after Google announced, various Indian startups got together and teamed up protesting against the latest Google policy. Research firm Counterpoint has stated that Google controls about 99% of the smartphone market in India.
The Indian startups to protest against Google’s 30% commission policy are Paytm, Razorpay, Dream11, ShareChat, and IndiaMART. Paytm is an organization dealing in financial services, considered as the best startup firm in India. Razorpay is a firm that provides payment gateway solutions, Dream11 is a sports-related startup, ShareChat is into social networking while IndiaMART is an e-commerce firm.
Earlier, too, there have been various company owners in India who have spoken against the tech giant’s rules within the country. However, things took a serious turn last month when Paytm was off the Play Store for a provisional time-period as it encouraged gambling activities.
According to Google, this is not the first time that Paytm has breached the Play Store rules. During the past, too, the Indian startup had been warned multiple times by the tech giant that it would not tolerate any apps within its Play Store that engage app users in gambling activities.
In its defense, a Paytm executive says that due to the IPL cricket tournament, various apps dealing with sporting activities allow users to select their favorite player and team. Depending on the player or the team’s performance in the tournament, these users can either procure money or gain points redeemed later for any purchases.
The executive, who did not wish to be named, remarked that Google should have brought forth these issues much before the IPL tournament began. Moreover, there was an exceptional delay in the tournament this year amid coronavirus fears. Hence Google had sufficient time to highlight these issues, stated the executive.
Image source: Techcrunch