To comply with Google’s guidelines, Kakaotalk disables external billing from its Android app {U}

Over the past couple of years, the Google Play Store has tightened its billing practices, and several well-known apps have conformed with the new guidelines. Google had to resort to banning upgrades to the well-liked chat software Kakaotalk in South Korea, though, since it defied charging regulations. Kakaotalk has now acceded to Google’s requirements, nevertheless.

Update 7/14: According to TechCrunch , in order to comply with Google Play’s requirements, Kakaotalk has eliminated ties to its external billing. According to Kakao, the removal was made to better serve users.

Here is our original report of the dispute between Kakao and Google.

Google has reportedly stopped allowing upgrades to Kakaotalk through the Google Play Store, according to South Korean media site News1 (via TechCrunch ). This prevents Kakaotalk from updating the app while keeping it functioning for Android users inside the nation.

Why was the action harsh?
This rumor claims that Google terminated Kakaotalk due to the apps’ violation of Play Store payment guidelines.

Long after Google’s deadline of June 1, 2022 for developers to use payment procedures allowed for the Play Store, Kakaotalk has maintained a link to its external website for user billing. This necessitates that developers utilize Google’s own billing facilities in the majority of nations, which accept payments via credit/debit cards, gift cards, and some other third-party billing partners like PayPal.

However, a new Google policy in South Korea prohibits developers from linking to external websites for payment purposes, contrary to what Kakaotalk has continued to do, and instead permits apps in the Play Store to use third-party billing tools.

On a support page , Google explains:

We will give all developers the option to provide an alternative in-app charging system in addition to Google Play’s billing system for South Korean consumers making in-app purchases within Play-distributed apps on smartphones and tablets as a result of recent legislation.

Developers will still be charged a service fee, but it will be 4% less for transactions made via an alternative in-app pricing method. For instance, when using an alternate billing system, the service price will be 11% instead of 15% when using Google Play’s billing system.

Kakaotalk is currently in danger of having the Play Store completely removed due to Google’s regulations. Any software that is still not in compliance will be deleted from Google Play as of June 1, according to Google. As of the time of publication, neither business had responded to the predicament.

Over 53 million active users, mostly in South Korea, utilize Kakaotalk, which is rated as an estimated platform.

Notably, the Korean Communications Commission said earlier this year that Google’s decision to forbid apps from linking to external websites for billing was a violation of the nation’s app payment law.

Google is currently trying User Choice billing with Spotify.
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