Google postpones fees on in-app purchases from Indian developers after angry complaints from local tech startups
Alphabet Inc’s Google has decided to extend its deadline for Indian app developers to comply with a new billing system for commission fees by six months days after local tech startups voiced their anger about the charges.
In a blog post on Monday, Google said:
Listening carefully to developer and user feedback is integral to how we continue to make Android better with each release, and improve how the Play Store works. Since we posted a clarification to our Play Payments policy, we have heard some additional questions from the community in India.
Instead of enforcing the in-app fees now, Google said it will now enforce its global policy more strictly and charge a 30% commission fee for in-app purchases from Indian developers from March 31, 2022, the company said, saying it was “being mindful of local needs and concerns”.
“We do not succeed unless our partners succeed,” Google said in a blog post, adding that it will set up “listening sessions” with leading Indian startups to understand their issues.
Google’s decision comes after many startups in India banded together to consider ways to challenge the tech giant by lodging complaints with the government and courts over the original deadline for compliance of Sept. 30 next year. They were upset about the commission fee and also criticized several other Google Play Store policies for hurting their businesses.
Last week, Google fixed the enforcement date for the new billing system on Sept. 30, 2021, and said only 3% of apps globally were non-compliant.
“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 are yet to launch, or that currently use an alternative payment system, we set a timeline of 31st March 2022.”