Google has stopped offering updates to well-liked messaging app KakaoTalk in South Korea, in keeping with a local report, after Kakao continued utilizing an exterior fee hyperlink in its Android app, towards Google’s new in-app funds coverage. Google’s new coverage requires builders promoting digital items and companies to make use of Google’s first-party billing system, however Kakao has been utilizing an exterior hyperlink to its own website.
That is the primary time Google has stopped PlayStore customers from updating an app after its new funds coverage got here into impact final month. KakaoTalk may be up to date on different app operators corresponding to Apple’s AppStore and OneStore, per the native media report. Two huge questions now will likely be whether or not Google turns its consideration to stopping updates on different apps equally offering exterior fee hyperlinks, or goes one step additional and proceeds to take away them altogether.
“All builders promoting digital items and companies of their apps are required to make use of Google Play’s billing system,” Google writes in a note detailing its new in-app payments policy. “Apps utilizing another in-app billing system might want to take away it to be able to adjust to the funds coverage… Beginning June 1, 2022, any app that’s nonetheless not compliant will likely be faraway from Google Play.”
Google said final yr it will adjust to different billing methods in South Korea by permitting Android app builders to make use of third-party fee choices, however to supply them alongside Google Play’s personal billing system after the nation handed its in-app fee legislation — the primary of its form on the planet — in August final yr. That legislation, pointedly, is recurrently known as the “anti-Google legislation.”
Builders, nevertheless, can’t add hyperlinks that time to their very own web sites inside their apps, which might permit their customers to purchase instantly, bypassing Google’s billing completely.
South Korean app builders and content material suppliers have elevated their paid subscription and repair charges on Google’s Play because of the heavy 15-30% commissions now required following Google’s coverage modifications.
The Korea Communications Fee said in April that the prohibition of app builders from utilizing the weblink fee possibility would breach South Korea’s app fee legislation that requires operators of app shops to permit third-party funds. The KCC informed Tech final month that it will control Google to see if they might take away any app towards its new coverage.
Apple introduced final week that builders should submit a separate binary for iOS and iPadOS “distributed solely on the App Retailer in South Korea” to make use of a third-party fee system for the South Korea App Retailer.
Tech has reached out to Kakao which didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark about Google’s transfer. Google didn’t reply to requests for remark.