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Google Play

Upholding a fair and equitable experience for India’s thriving digital ecosystem

Google has been fostering a vibrant tech ecosystem in India for over two decades and our commitment is steadfast. We deeply believe in India’s potential as a global innovation hub, and with our ongoing investments, we’re honored to have played a role in India's thriving digital economy. For example, Android and Google Play have helped India transform into an app-first digital economy providing millions of mobile users unprecedented choice and boosting India's innovative startup and developer sectors.

Google Play invests significantly in supporting Indian developers, big and small, across every stage of an app’s journey, providing critical tools and services that help them unlock their innovation, acquire and engage users, and expand to users worldwide.

Today, Indian developers are finding global success with Google Play, and the Android and Play ecosystem collectively supported over 2.5 million jobs in India in 20221. This success is a result of the investments we have made in our platforms, tools, and resources that have enabled developers to thrive. This also helps us invest in protections to safeguard users across the ecosystem, even for apps downloaded from outside of the Play Store – enabling a level of openness, developer choice, and vigilance unmatched by other platforms.

To sustain our efforts, Google Play charges a service fee when developers sell in-app digital goods. We've constantly evolved our business model inline with the needs of the ecosystem, always staying compliant with local regulations. Our tiered pricing programs benefit Indian developers: only 3% of developers in India sell digital goods or services and therefore need to pay a service fee, the vast majority of whom pay 15 percent or less – the lowest of any major global app store. In fact, in India, less than 60 developers on Google Play are subject to fees above 15 percent.

Applying our policies fairly across the ecosystem

Today, we have over 200,000 Indian developers using Google Play who adhere to our policies, helping us ensure we have a safe platform; however, for an extended period of time, 10 companies, including many well-established ones, have chosen to not pay for the immense value they receive on Google Play by securing interim protections from court. These developers comply with payment policies of other app stores.

We’ve always respected local laws. For years, no court or regulator has denied Google Play’s right to charge for the value and services we provide. On 9 February, the Supreme Court also refused to interfere with our right to do so. While some of the developers that were refused interim protection have started fairly participating in our business model and ecosystem, others choose to find ways to not do so.

While we always try to work with developers to help them through our policies and find feasible solutions, allowing this small group of developers to get differential treatment from the vast majority of developers who are paying their fair share creates an uneven playing field across the ecosystem and puts all other apps and games at a competitive disadvantage.

After giving these developers more than three years to prepare, including three weeks after the Supreme Court’s order, we are taking necessary steps to ensure our policies are applied consistently across the ecosystem, as we do for any form of policy violation globally.

Enforcement of our policy, when necessary, can include removal of non-compliant apps from Google Play. Developers are welcome to resubmit their apps to be listed on Play by electing any one of these three billing options as part of our Payments Policy:

  • Operate on a consumption-only basis without paying a service fee, even if it is part of a paid service. With this option, any developer could allow a user of their app to access content that they paid for outside the app.
  • Integrate Google Play’s billing system, enabling them to easily transact with millions of customers around the world and give their users safe ways to pay and the ability to manage their payments from a central location.
  • Offer an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s for users in India. When users opt for alternative billing systems, the fee is further reduced by an additional four percent. App developers expanding in international markets can also enroll as part of our user choice billing pilot currently available in 35 markets.

In the meantime, these developers continue to have other options to operate their business on Android, including distribution through alternative Android app stores or directly via their websites. Existing users will be able to continue to access the apps without interruption — and we continue to offer our support to help developers get into compliance.

Our commitment to investing in India’s digital future remains unwavering and our continued investments to bring the highest available standard of technology to the ecosystem are testimony to our commitment. We look forward to continuing our work with the entire ecosystem to ensure the long term viability of these efforts in India.

More Information


Source: Economic Impact Report: Accelerating India's digital leadership with Google - by Access Partnership, October 2023