Categories: Technology

Google Threatens to Remove Non-Compliant Apps from Play Store in India

  • Google warns Indian developers of app removal for non-compliance, enforcing Play Store billing policies.
  • Several well-established firms, including Disney's Hotstar and Tinder, challenged Google's billing practices in court.
  • Google offers developers three billing options, urging compliance or exploration of alternative app store partnerships.
Published by
Lethabo Ntsoane

In a decisive move aimed at enforcing its billing policies, Google has issued a warning to developers in India, stating that apps will be removed from its Play Store if developers fail to comply. The warning comes after a prolonged three-year dispute over payment policies, with Google highlighting the non-compliance of several developers who allegedly avoided paying fees despite benefiting from the platform.

Defiance of Payment Policies

Google revealed that a select group of developers in India, including some well-established names, have disregarded the Play Store’s payment policies despite having more than three years to prepare for compliance. This defiance, according to Google, has led to an unfair advantage for these developers while creating an uneven playing field in the app ecosystem.

Enforcement Measures

The tech giant has announced its intention to initiate the removal of non-compliant apps, with the process set to commence imminently. According to sources familiar with the matter, Google will begin removing these apps from the Play Store starting Friday. This enforcement action underscores Google’s commitment to upholding its policies consistently across its largest market by users.

Legal Challenges and Supreme Court Ruling

The warning from Google comes amidst ongoing legal challenges from several Indian firms regarding the Play Store’s billing policies. Companies such as Bharat Matrimony, Shadi.com, Unacademy, and others have raised objections to Google’s billing practices, seeking redress through the legal system. Even major players like Disney’s Hotstar and Tinder have voiced their concerns over Google’s policy.

Despite these challenges, Google has reiterated its stance, highlighting its respect for local laws and asserting its right to charge for the value and services provided through the Play Store. The Madras High Court had previously rejected petitions from Indian tech companies against Google’s billing system, further solidifying Google’s position.

Developer Compliance and Alternatives

Google emphasized that developers have had ample time to comply with its policies, including a grace period following the Supreme Court’s ruling. The company urged non-compliant developers to either adhere to the rules or explore alternative app store partnerships to maintain continuity within the Android ecosystem.

To facilitate compliance, Google offers developers three billing options:

Billing OptionDescription
Consumption-only basisAllows developers to offer apps without paying a service fee
Integration with Google Play’s billing systemDevelopers agree to pay Google the stipulated fee for using its billing system
Alternative billing systemDevelopers can offer their own billing system, resulting in reduced fees for developers

Conclusion

Google’s warning to developers in India underscores the company’s commitment to enforcing its policies and ensuring a level playing field within its app ecosystem. As the removal of non-compliant apps looms, developers are faced with the choice of either complying with Google’s billing policies or exploring alternative avenues to maintain their presence in the Android ecosystem.

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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted: Email: lethabo@rateweb.co.za Twitter: @NtsoaneLethabo