Technology entrepreneurs, developers, and app makers in India are seeking support from the Indian government for setting up an ‘Indian app store’ to reduce the dependency on US technology giants Google and Apple.

As reported by the Economic Times, a group of entrepreneurs have been discussing the development of a platform that will host local apps to counter the dominance of Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Why Are The Entrepreneurs Calling For An Indian App Store?

On September 29, Google’s Director of Business Development, Games and Applications, Purnima Kochikar, clarified Google Play’s billing policy, which has been in force for a long time now. According to the clarification, every developer who chooses to sell digital content through Google Play will have to use Play billing w.e.f September 2021.

This is concerning for developers because Play billing charges 30% of the payment made within the app as commission. Several entrepreneurs believe that this will hurt small businesses and developers in India.

Harshil Mathur, CEO, Razorpay

According to the policy, all app developers who wish to offer in-app purchases of digital goods like paying for songs, power-ups for gaming characters, etc will be mandatorily required to use Google Play billing.

However, this is not applicable to payments for physical goods or subscription payments through developers’ websites.

Other than the fee being demanded by Google, the recent Paytm controversy has also added fuel to the fire. Paytm recently protested against U.S. tech firm Google’s decision to remove its app for a few hours, after alleged violations of gambling policies.

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Challenges To Developers

Vishwas Patel, Chairman of Payments Council of India, tweeted that Google cannot force Indian developers to use Google billing and payment system and charge 30% as a fee.

Vishwas Patel, Chairman, Payments Council of India

Sudhir Naidu, who runs Troop Messenger, believes that presently, there are no alternatives for developers. He believes that unless the government intervenes, there won’t be any way forward. 

According to tech enthusiasts, even if developers find an alternative, it won’t be able to catch up with Google Play Store simply because people have become habitual of using it. People would still need the Play Store to use other Google services. So, other app stores like Amazon App Store and Samsung’s Galaxy Store won’t be able to compete with Google.

Way Forward

Reports suggest that Indian officials are considering the development of a mobile platform for downloading apps. However, they have not received any formal requests so far. Also, before they get into the development, they are willing to know the response from Indian consumers.

All in all, developers and entrepreneurs have expressed deep concerns against Google’s move. They are favouring the development of an Indian App store that would even further the motive of a self-reliant India.

Image Credits: Twitter, Google Images

Sources: The Economic Times, Livemint, Reuters

Find the blogger: @_RitikaNijhawan

This post is tagged under: Indian app store, duopoly of Google and Apple, Atma Nirbhar Bharat, Google Play store, Apple App Store, Paytm Controversy, Google Play Billing, Google Play Commission

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