India open to launching own app store as start-ups criticise Google – government source

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is open to launching its own mobile app store or expanding an existing one if it receives enough demand from domestic firms for an alternative to Apple AAPL.O and Google platforms, a senior government official said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London, Britain January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

The country has some 500 million smartphone users, most of whom use Google’s Android platform, but Indian start-ups have criticised the company for policies they say stifle their growth.

SoftBank-backed 9984.T Paytm, one of India’s leading payments firms, protested against the U.S. tech giant’s decision to remove its app for a few hours last month citing violations of gambling policies.

Alphabet-owned GOOGL.O Google also said this week that it will strictly enforce a policy which will levy a 30% commission on payments made within

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