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Google delists select Indian apps over violations of Play Store policies


Google has delisted several popular Indian apps, including Kuku FM, TrulyMadly, QuackQuack, and Altt, from the Play Store. Reports indicate that apps from Shaadi and Matrimony.com, as well as InfoEdge’s job portal Naukri and real-estate platform 99 acres, have also been removed.

The move comes shortly after Google published a blog post outlining its stance on apps that fail to comply with its new app store policies. In the post, Google warned of potential consequences such as ‘delisting’. The company specifically called out specific 10 companies, including many well-established ones, for non-compliance. Though it did not disclose their names.

“While we always try to work with developers to help them through our policies and find feasible solutions, allowing this small group of developers to get differential treatment from the vast majority of developers who are paying their fair share creates an uneven playing field across the ecosystem and puts all other apps and games at a competitive disadvantage,” Google had said.

It may be recalled that the apex court last month declined a plea by a few companies to restrain Google from delisting their apps. The court then listed the case for the next hearing on March 19.

It also pointed out that the company had granted developers more than three years to prepare for the new regime, including three weeks after the Supreme Court’s order.

The company disclosed that over 200,000 Indian developers using Google Play adhere to its policies. Moreover, less than 60 developers on Google Play are subjected to fees above 15% as per its new tiered pricing programs.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an not-for-profit body that represents several Indian startups, confirmed that  at least four of its members have received notices from Google. The body said it has advised Google not to delist any apps from the app store.

Meanwhile, InfoEdge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani said in a tweet, “Indian companies will comply – for now. But what India needs is an App Store / Play Store that is a part of Digital Public Infrastructure – like UPI and ONDC. The response needs to be strategic…”

Just last week, Indian fintech company PhonePe launched a desi app store, Indus AppStore. Touted as a ‘Made in India’ app store, the app store will be supporting 12 languages.

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