For failing to adhere to its payment policies, Google has stopped Play Store updates for the well-known messaging software KakaoTalk in South Korea. Although the app will still operate, its makers won’t be able to update it through the Play Store. According to a local newspaper, News1 reports , it is the first casualty of Google’s imposed Play policy in South Korea ( via ).
In order to make in-app purchases in apps distributed through the Play Store, developers are required to use Google’s first-party charging mechanism, according to the Play policy in question. Legal objections and severe criticism of this policy have been received. However, the business began enforcing it on June 1st, 2022, in the majority of the world. The cutoff date for Indian developers is October 31, 2022.
Any app found to be in violation of this guideline will be withdrawn from the Play Store, according to Google. However, because of the nation’s recently established in-app payment regulation, developers with users in South Korea have the choice to incorporate an alternate in-app paying system. Less service fees than Google’s first-party billing system will be incurred by the alternative approach. However, KakaoTalk nonetheless found itself in trouble because the software contained a direct link to an external payment website. Google prohibits that.
Advertisement TO ITS ANDROID APP, KAKOTALK ADDED A LINK FOR AN EXTERNAL PAYMENT After Google implemented the new Play policy, KakaoTalk added the link toward the end of May. Users can subscribe to the messaging app’s Emoticon Plus subscription service for merely KRW 3,900 ($2.9) per month by clicking the link, which directs them to an external website. The same subscription costs KRW 5,700 when purchased through the app. When Google implemented the new Play policy, KakaoTalk was compelled to raise the price from KRW 4,900. This is so that the manufacturer of Android can profit from in-app purchases made using its billing system.
Naturally, Google objected to KakaoTalk’s decision to offer more affordable subscriptions outside of the app. As a result, it has currently disabled Play Store updates for the app. However, the messaging software still allows users to push updates through external app stores. The company is also allowing Android customers to sideload the most recent upgrades onto their devices by downloading the APK files for such updates.
Not just KakaoTalk is impacted by Google’s imposed Play rules. The same reason led to Hulu recently removing sign-ups from its Android apps. Before using the app, new users must register on the website. However, Hulu did not offer the link to the external sign-up website within the app, in contrast to KakaoTalk. Google therefore chose not to penalize it.
Advertisement It’s interesting to note that the Korean Communications Commission (KCC) said Google’s decision to prevent apps from linking to external billing websites violated the nation’s app payment rules. So, the corporation may face legal challenges as a result of their move against KakaoTalk. We’ll keep you informed about it.