Google dominates the internet market in India in multiple areas from smartphones to finances that is also the largest market for Google, but recent events related to Google’s guidelines affecting the app developers in India has raised concerns over Google’s “monopolistic” hold on India.
On Tuesday, Google announced that starting from 2021 developers that offers in-app purchases must provide commission to Google that accounts for as much as 30% of the payments. Google has also announced that it will make changes in Android 12 that will allow users to install and use third-party app stores as an alternative to Google Play.
This new policy change has sparked the conversation in between the top tech entrepreneurs in India including Vijay Shekhar Sharma, co-founder and chief executive of Paytm, executives from MakeMyTrip, PolicyBazaar, Sharechat and other firms.
It has been reported that the top startups and other firms in India are working to form an alliance and to launch an app store of their own to cut their reliance on Google as many of the apps in India has suffered from unfair and inconsistent enforcement of Play Store’s guidelines in the country.
Some of the executives of top tech firms has labelled the new 30% commission to Google unfeasible and has raised voice that an alternative app store would immensely help the Indian app ecosystem regardless of the OS.
The tensions rose in between tech firms and Google last month when Google reiterated Play Store’s gambling policy restricting many startups in India that were hoping to make big bucks thanks to the ongoing season of Indian Premier League cricket tournament.
Just before the start of the tournament, Google temporarily removed Paytm’s main app and Paytm First Games app from the Play Store citing concurrent violation of its Play Store guidelines.
In the last few months, Google has sent notices to several firms in India including Disney-owned Hotstar, and food delivery startups Swiggy and Zomato.
One thing that doesn’t fit right in the recent development that Google has announced to invest $10 billion in India and $4.5 billion out of which the company invested in Jio Platforms of Reliance Industries owned by Mukesh Ambani who is an ally of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
At the latest AGM of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani announced that the company will launch an affordable entry-level smartphone in partnership with Google in India.
Some tech firms believe that they will get support from the government as the Prime Minister of India has pitched to become self-reliant to boost the declining economy of the country.