Google suspends KakaoTalk updates on Play Store in South Korea after messaging app refuses to remove its own payment link TechCrunch

Google has stopped providing updates to the popular messaging app Kakao Talk in Korea, according to a local report, after Kakao continued to use external payment links in its Android app, against Google’s new in-app billing policy. Google’s new policy requires developers selling digital goods and services to use Google’s first-party payment system, but Kakao used an external link to its own website.

This is the first time Google has prevented PlayStore users from updating apps after the new payment policy went into effect last month. KakaoTalk can be updated on other app operators like Apple’s App Store and OneStore, according to local media reports. The two big questions now will be whether Google will turn its attention to stopping updates on other similar apps that offer external payment links, or go a step further and proceed to remove them altogether.

“All developers selling digital goods and services in their apps are required to use the Google Play payment system,” Google wrote in a statement. note detailing its new in-app billing policy. “Apps that use an alternative in-app billing system will need to remove that system to comply with the payment policy… As of June 1, 2022, any app that remains non-compliant will be disqualified. removed from Google Play.”

Google speak Last year, it would comply with alternative payment systems in South Korea by allowing Android app developers to use third-party payment options, but offering them alongside the payment system. by Google Play itself after the country’s adoption in-app billing law – the first of its kind in the world – last August. That law, explicitly, is often referred to as the “anti-Google law.”

However, developers cannot add links pointing to their own websites inside their apps, which would allow their users to buy directly, bypassing Google payments entirely. .

Korean app developers and content providers have increased their paid subscription fees and service fees on Google Play due to the high 15-30% commissions now required following Google policy changes .

Korea Communications Commission said in April that banning app developers from using the weblink payment option would violate Korean app billing laws that require app store operators to allow third-party payments. KCC told TechCrunch last month that it will monitor Google to see if it removes any apps that go against their new policies.

Apple announced last week that developers will have to submit a separate binary for iOS and iPadOS that is “distributed only on the App Store in Korea” in order to use a third-party payment system for the Korean App Store.

TechCrunch has reached out to Kakao, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Google’s move. Google did not respond to a request for comment.

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