Tech

Google’s 30% Cut Won’t Apply to India Until After April 2022

By Bill Toulas / October 5, 2020

Google has recently published a plan to introduce a stricter context for its 30% cut on the Play Store, warning all app developers to implement its billing system by September 2021. Until then, the tech giant promised to offer more degrees of freedom on the Android platform. At the same time, they intend to lock things down even more on whatever has to do with in-app payments on software that is becoming available through the Play Store.

As expected, this has resonated negatively with app developers, so some of them are already forming coalitions to go against these pressing and unfair rules. ProtonMail launched a “Coalition for App Fairness” along with Epic Games, Spotify, and Tile, Korean Startups reported Apple and Google to the country’s Communications Commission, and the Russians drafted a bill threatening to deal with the 30% cuts legally. In India, there is a movement backed by over 150 startups and firms who allied intending to launch an app store.

Google couldn’t ignore this latest threat, as we’re talking about the world’s second-biggest market and a very large source of income. Thus, they decided to postpone enforcing the new billing policy in India, at least until April 2022. In the meantime, they will hold “Policy Workshops” in the country to help developers address their concerns and convince them that it’s all done for their benefit. So, until April 2022, India-based apps will be allowed to circumvent the Google Play billing policies and save on commissions. But has this come already too late?

One of India's most promising startups, 'Paytm,' has launched its own app store and populated it with several useful apps belonging to India's popular platforms. From ride-hailing service 'Ola' to music-streaming platform 'Gaana,' and from Domino's Pizza and McDonald's to Booking.com and Cure.fit.

Paytm has already drawn the attention of local developers or foreign businesses present in the Indian market, as it charges only 2% for all in-app payments carried out via credit cards. For those using its own UPI payments infrastructure, the commission is zero.

Source: PayTm

Sure, it would take time for Paytm to capture a user-base comparable to that of the Play Store and win the trust of users and developers, but it's clear that Google can no longer do as they please and never face any reaction. Even now, with all that is happening, Google's decision to exclude India is only infuriatingly unfair for developers who reside in other countries.



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