Google reinstates popular Indian apps in Play Store, government says delisting cannot be permitted

 

Amidst the Indian government taking exception to Google’s move to delist nearly ten Indian Apps from its Play Store, the tech giant on Saturday reinstated several of them. This was largely because these apps decided to comply with Play Store billing policy with many of them opting to operate on consumption-only basis.

All the five apps of Info Edge —flagship Naukri App, Naukri Recruiter, Naukrigulf, 99acres and Shiksha, besides shaadi.com now stand reinstated on Play Store. However, apps such as QuackQuack, TrulyMadly and Stage continue to be delisted and remain unavailable as of Saturday evening.

 

IT and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday asserted that delisting of Indian apps cannot be permitted and stakeholders have been called for a meeting on Monday. He said communication has gone to Google about reinstating these apps on Play Store. India’s start-up ecosystem, the entrepreneurial journey and the talent pool, needs to be channelised fully and their fate “cannot be left to the policies of any big tech”, Vaishnaw said.

“Our policy is very clear, our start-ups will get the protection that they need. I have already called Google, I have already called the app developers who have been delisted….will be meeting them next week. This cannot be permitted. This cannot be ….this type of delisting cannot be permitted,” Vaishnaw said.

Stakeholders react

Anupam Mittal , Founder & CEO, People Group (Shaadi.com), in a post on X said, “ Apps are back without billing which is as good as not being there.” He noted that apps are back up as “ consumption apps only i.e without any in-app billing which will destroy the consumer side of the business in the longer-term.”

InfoEdge, Founder, Sanjeev Bikhchandani in a post on X also stated that the company’s apps are back up on “consumption model.” “Many of the Info Edge apps are back on the Play Store. An effort very well led by Hitesh and the entire Info Edge team. People were up all night for this. Great crisis management,” he stated on the social media platform.

Kuku FM’s Co Founder and CEO Lal Chand Bisu said in a ‘X’ post: “I will request @ AshwiniVaishnaw to keep both parties in the discussion. It would be geat if we could present our side of the story. Looking forward to further progress on this matter”.

Meanwhile, Vinay Singhal, Co-Founder and CEO, STAGE, said, that “STAGE remains delisted” on Play Store in a post on X on Saturday evening.

Google had on Friday said in a blog post that developers are welcome to resubmit their apps to be listed on Play by electing any one of these three billing options as part of its Payment Policy, which includes opting to operate on consumption-only basis without paying a service fee; or Google Play’s Billing System; or an alternative billing system.

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