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Google Halts KakaoTalk Updates On Play Store In Korea After Messaging App Refuses To Remove Its Own Payment Links – TechCrunch

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

It’s the first time Google has blocked PlayStore users from updating an app after its new payment policy went into effect last month. KakaoTalk may be updated to other app operators such as Apple’s AppStore and OneStore, according to the local media report. Two big questions now will be whether Google is focusing on stopping updates on other apps that provide external payment links, or going a step further and phasing them out altogether.

“All developers selling digital goods and services in their apps are required to use Google Play’s billing system,” Google wrote in a statement. note detailing its new in-app payment policy. “Apps using another in-app billing system will need to remove it in order to comply with the Payments Policy… Starting June 1, 2022, any app that is still not compliant will be removed from Google Play.

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Google said Last year, it reportedly conforms to alternative billing systems in South Korea by allowing Android app developers to use third-party payment options but offer them alongside Google Play’s own billing system after the country has adopted its in-app payments law — the first of its kind in the world — in August last year. This law, obviously, is regularly referred to as the “anti-Google law”.

Developers, however, cannot add links that point to their own websites inside their apps, which would allow their users to purchase directly, completely bypassing Google billing.

South Korean app developers and content providers have increased their paid subscription and service fees on Google Play due to the hefty 15-30% commissions now required as a result of Google’s policy changes.

The Korean Communications Commission said in april that banning app developers from using the pay-per-web link option would violate South Korea’s app payment law, which requires app store operators to allow third-party payments. The KCC told TechCrunch last month that it will keep an eye on Google to see if they remove an app that violates its new policy.

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

TechCrunch contacted Kakao, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Google’s decision. Google did not respond to requests for comment.

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