The Korea Herald


[Newsmaker] Google goes ahead with controversial in-app payment policy

Google says only 2% of Korean developers will have to change payment system according to new policy

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : Sept. 29, 2020 - 12:04

    • Link copied

Google said Tuesday that the company is updating its billing policies to require app developers distributing software through Google Play Store to use its own in-app payment system.

All developers who are already distributing their software will have to use Google Play Store’s in-app purchase system instead of third-party payment systems, starting in October next yaer.

The billing system charges a 30 percent fee to app developers.

As for developers newly launching their applications on the platform, they will be required to use the payment system starting on Jan. 20, according to the announcement.

Google said that the detailed policies, however, do not change the intention of the existing guidelines. The new policies will affect only around 3 percent of developers globally who are not currently complying with their rules, according to Google.

Purnima Kochikar, director of Google Play, Apps & Games at Google, said that number is only around 2 percent of developers in South Korea, who are not complying Google’s billing policies, during an online media conference held Tuesday. Kochikar added that the impact of the changed policies here will not be significant given the proportion.

Kochikar added that Android-based smartphones, for example, have always allowed developers and customers to choose which app store platforms to use, dismissing concerns that Google is using its market clout to charge high commissions.

In-app purchases made through the Google Play Store in Korea last year reached around 5.9 trillion won ($5.05 billion), accounting for 63.4 percent market share here, according to data compiled by Korea Mobile Internet Business Association.

Google’s announcement came amid local developers and businesses raising concerns over the high commissions that the Google Play Store charges. The Korean government also previously announced that it will review if Google‘s billing policies violate laws here.

On the Korean government’s move, Kochikar said Google will always comply with local laws.

Meanwhile, Google announced that the company has forged the 115 billion-won “K-reate” fund to provide financial support to local developers and content creators over the next year.

By Shim Woo-hyun (