The world’s second-largest internet market, India and search giant Google doesn’t seem to be having a great time lately. According to reports, several startups and firms from India aren’t happy with Google’s monopolistic hold on India and are planning to make a dramatic move by allying to launch an alternative app store to cut their dependency on Google.
The Paytm Clash
On September 11, the Indian e-commerce payment system and financial technology company, Paytm launched a campaign where users could collect cricket stickers & scratch cards to earn UPI cashback.
And just after a few days, Paytm’s marquee app, which competes with Google Pay in India, disappeared from the Play Store. The company receive an email that read the Paytm Android app has been delisted. Furthermore, the payments tech company was forced to comply with Google’s mandate of removing their UPI cashback offer and scratch cards to get re-listed.
This is what the email read:
“Your app contains content that doesn’t comply with the Gambling policy as it offers games with “loyalty” (e.g. engagement or activity) points that (1) are accrued or accelerated via real-money purchases which (2) can be exchanged for items or prizes of real-world monetary value.”
That is not all, Paytm in one of their blog posts mentioned how Google’s Google Pay regularly runs similar campaigns in India.
Read the entire story here: The story behind Paytm App’s de-listing from Google Play Store
There’s More To It
It is not just Paytm that has faced such issues with Google, there are several other startups from India that have raised their concerns regarding the way Google is operating in the Indian market.
Recently, food delivery apps Swiggy and Zomato have also received notices from Google regarding the in-app gamification feature used by both platforms. The notice reads that the features violate Google’s Play Store guideline.
A Zomato spokesperson said that the company has already realigned its business strategy to comply with Google’s guidelines. And it will be replacing Zomato Premier League with a more exciting program by this weekend.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a crucial time for food delivery businesses like Zomato and Swiggy to make a good business. And the major reason why the gamification features were added to the apps is because of the increasing engagement.
Wait! It’s Not Done Yet
Sending notice and de-listing apps from the Google Play Store is just one aspect of the story of Indian Startup Vs Google. The other aspect is that the search giant has recently said that starting 2021, developers with an app on Google Play Store must give Google a cut of as much as 30% of several app-related payments.
The Bottom Line
Given all the tension that is going around Indian startups and Google, several top entrepreneurs from the country have decided to step in and do something about it. They expressed deep concerns about Google’s monopolistic hold on the Indian startup ecosystem and they feel that an alternative app store would immensely help the Indian app ecosystem.
There are reports that suggest Dozens of executives have already taken the step and are now working to form an alliance and come up with an alternative app store.