Hyderabad: Even as the government and a few Indian app developers are looking at bringing an alternative to Google Play Store, entrepreneurs and experts feel that an India-made app store should be equally accessible and a truly open platform. This move to build an app store of our own came after Google announced that it will be enforcing the rule of taking 30% cut from in-app purchases made via Play Store for all listed apps.
“Google charging for using their app store is not wrong but the way they are doing it is by abusing their dominant position in the app ecosystem. They are arm twisting app developers to get listed on their platform and it is high time they came up with a model that is justified and right,” said Rishi Khare, CEO, Thrymr, a software development company based in Hyderabad.
As of the second quarter of 2020, Android users were able to choose from among the 2.7 million apps listed on the Google Play Store, the largest app store, according to a report by Statista. Apple’s App Store follows with about 1.82 million apps. This furore over Google began when it took down Paytm app temporarily a few weeks ago. Reports also suggest Zomato and Swiggy were sent notices for running cashback-based IPL games and both have decided to pause their virtual gaming leagues.
“Google is targeting app developers to make more money. This is an anti-market move and is regressive to the app economy. In addition, their claim that the 30% tax is for providing additional benefits like security blanket is incorrect as there is no data being provided on the kind of breaches that have taken place in the store.
Google must become more transparent in its policies for app developers,” said Pallav Bajjuri, co-founder and CEO, Kahaniya, a platform for regional language stories.
However, experts also say if India is looking at having its own app store then it needs to be transparent and more open in their operations. According to Khare, the country has the right ecosystem in place to develop its own app store and “if Google does not change its policies then the day is not far when Indian developers will start looking for alternatives.”
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