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Google has come under fire from Indian startups in recent weeks after the company issued a clarification to its pre-existing billing policies earlier (AFP)
Google has come under fire from Indian startups in recent weeks after the company issued a clarification to its pre-existing billing policies earlier (AFP)

Google says aware of developers' hardship amid calls to drop 30% tax

  • Building a mobile platform and a store to help developers reach billions of users also takes significant work and investment, the firm clarifies at first policy conference with developers

NEW DELHI: Google has said it recognizes the effort developers put in to develop apps as the online search giant met them to discuss their grievances over the 30% tax it wants them to pay.

“We understand how hard developers work to build mobile apps. We know it’s a huge investment. Building a mobile platform and a store to help developers reach billions of users also takes significant work and investment. Our business model makes it possible for us to keep a safe and thriving platform and invest in millions of developers, and a lot goes into making that happen," said Kunal Soni, director of business development, apps and games, India, SEA and ANZ, Google Play, answering a question from an Indian developer about whether Google plans to roll back the charge in the coming months.

The conference was the first of a series Google had earlier said it will run with Indian developers. According to Google, it has received feedback from developers that the language in its policy document is confusing, and the company wanted to clarify any queries during the webinar. Google took pre-submitted questions from developers at the webinar.

Google has come under fire from Indian startups in recent weeks after the company issued a clarification to its pre-existing billing policies earlier. It requires developers who sell digital content and services to mandatorily use Google’s Play Billing system and hence pay the company the 30% commission for these sales.

Startup founders such as PayTM’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Razorpay’s Harshil Mathur, and many others have spoken up against the company. As reported earlier by Mint, the startups are looking to form a lobbying body and have also had a meeting with the Competition Commission of India to discuss a possible antitrust case against Google in India.

The company is also facing backlash globally for the power it wields over various internet-based services through its products. The justice department in the US filed a landmark antitrust lawsuit against the company yesterday for abusing its dominance in digital advertising and search.

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