NEW DELHI/BENGALURU (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google has extended its deadline for Indian app developers to comply with a new billing system for commission fees by six months, it said on Monday, days after local startups voiced anger about the charges.
Google 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”.
The move comes after many startups in India banded together to consider ways to challenge the company 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 criticised several other Google Play Store policies for hurting their businesses.
“We do not succeed unless our partners succeed,” Google
TikTok has launched an elections guide within its mobile app that will offer information about candidates, how to vote in each state, and educational videos, a move that comes amidst a legal battle with the Trump administration which is attempting to ban the app unless it cedes control of its local business to a U.S. firm.
Instead of producing the election-related content itself, TikTok will work with partner organizations like the National Association of Secretaries of State, BallotReady, SignVote, and several others, the company said in a blog post on Tuesday.
Unlike Facebook, which allows users to register for voting by sharing details within the app, TikTok will direct the users to an external website, a move that the company said is intended to protect user privacy.
Taking a page out of Apple’s (AAPL) – Get Report book, Google will begin more strictly enforcing rules that require developers to use Google’s (GOOGL) – Get Report payment system for in-app purchases.
Google announced the change on its Android developer blog on Monday, describing it as a clarification of Google’s existing rules on in-app purchases. Google had an existing policy requiring developers to use Google’s billing system, but the policy had been loosely enforced.
“We’ve always required developers who distribute their apps on Play to use Google Play’s billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods, and pay a service fee from a percentage of the purchase,” wrote Sameer Samat, VP of product management at Android. “We only collect a service fee if the developer charges users to download their app or they sell in-app digital items, and we think that is fair.
Bloomberg reports that Google will reemphasize its in-app purchase policy with developers who list their apps on the Play Store. Google currently mandates that all services with in-app purchases use the Google Play Store’s billing services, a process which allows Google to keep about 30% of the revenue.
Google’s policy has been the same for years, but the company will reinforce it, as many developers are not following Google’s requirements. The reinforcement is not a welcome sign to developers, who are also fighting against Apple’s recent reinforcement of in-app purchasing rules.
A group of popular smartphone app publishers, including Spotify, Epic Games and Basecamp, have announced the creation of the “Coalition for App Fairness,” which hopes to more fair arrangements between app stores and