The tension between Indian startup ecosystem and Google is just growing bigger and bigger. Several startups and firms from India aren’t happy with Google’s monopolistic hold on India. Lately, there were talks about startups from India allying to launch an alternative app store to cut their dependency on Google.
While the planning was still on, Digital payments firm Paytm has made its first move.
Paytm has launched a mini-app store to support Indian developers to take their applications to the masses, in a direct challenge to Google’s dominance in the Indian startup ecosystem. Reports also suggest that over 300 apps, including Decathlon, Ola, Rapido, Netmeds, 1MG, Domino’s Pizza, FreshMenu, NoBroker, have joined the Paytm app store.
The Paytm mini-app store will be providing listing and distribution of mini-apps from within its app, without any charge. Also, this store will enable developers to give a choice of Paytm Wallet, Paytm Payments Bank, UPI, net banking, and card payments to users.
Just in case in case you are confused with the term ‘mini-app’, they are basically custom-built mobile websites that give users an app-like experience without requiring an actual download.
This comes weeks after search giant Google de-listed Paytm app from its Play Store, citing violation of its gambling policies. Food delivery apps, Zomato and Swiggy have also faced similar issue recently.
It is not just a few companies that have expressed their concerns regarding the way Google is doing business in India. Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) have also expressed their thoughts in the matter.
“Just because Google owns the gate and the gateway to the digital ecosystem of this country, they should not act arbitrarily and enforce their rules and regulations that are contrary to our country’s laws,” said Vishwas Patel, founder of CCAvenue and chairman of Payments Council of India and a member of Iamai.
Furthermore, it has been prophesied that the Government of India would also lobby and might work on it to come up with an alternative to Google.