04:38 GMT21 October 2020
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    On 18 September, India's own digital payments app Paytm was "temporarily blocked" by Google Play for allegedly violating guidelines on facilitating online games concerning real money. In a bid to compete with Google in the app-mall space, Paytm has now launched its own mini app store in India.

    With over 140 million users, Paytm is a popular online payment app in India that is now raising its voice against Google levying a substantial 30 percent commission on any transaction made for a digital product or service through its in-app billing system, Mint reported on Monday. 

    Since the Indian market, the world’s second largest smartphone bazaar, is dominated by Google’s Android mobile operating system with around 750 million users, Google Play dominates the app-market space in the country, making Indian developers adhere to its set of rules.

    "Just because Google owns the gate and the gateway to the digital ecosystem of this country, they should not act arbitrarily and enforce their rules and regulations that are contrary to our country’s laws. Google’s stand in courts is that it does not need the Reserve Bank of India’s authorisation as it is not a payment system operator and, here, it is mandating that Indian apps use only Google’s proprietary billing and payment systems. Google should not exercise its dominant position, rather allow a level-playing field for everyone", Vishwas Patel, Chairman, Payments Council of India said while filing a complaint against the global tech giant with India's Ministry of IT last week.

    The unrest around the tech titan's "unfair" policies on Google Play have been troubling Indian tech biggies for a while now.

    Earlier last week, Harshil Mathur, co-founder and CEO of another India-born online payments app – RazorPay unwinded on Twitter about the dire need for India to have one of its own app-malls – in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of making India "self-reliant". 

    ​With its own mini app store, Paytm also aims to provide Indian manufacturers with a level playing field to expose domestic users to their services and products. The platform issued an official announcement on Twitter on Monday.

    ​Netizens welcomed the mini app store with mixed reactions. While some pointed out that Paytm’s rival PhonePe already offers similar services, others just joked around asking if Paytm has decided to remove Google from its app store as revenge.

    ​On 29 September, Google said that it is mandatory for the apps being distributed via its play store to use its internal billing and revenue sharing system as the method of payment – in case the apps need or accept payments for special features or services. Google backed its stance saying this reduces the chances of revenue leakages to Google from Google Play.

    At the time, Payments Council of India founder Patel had noted that Google cannot "force" Indian developers to use Google billing and charge a commission for it, reports said. 

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