Google Blocks KakaoTalk App Update In South Korea Over Billing Dispute

Image by Sameer/Fossbytes

South Korea became the first country to impose a law that halts Google and Apple’s payment policies, forcing developers only to use the tech giants’ billing systems. However, with the new legislation, big tech companies have had to comply and allow third-party payment methods.

The popular South Korean application KakaoTalk app fails to submit updates because it incorporates a link to its website for payments instead of going with the Play Store payment platform.

App unable to update

KakaoTalk app
Image: KakaoTalk

Google is blocking the application because KakaoTalk has a link that directs users to its website. Through the link, users can purchase premium items outside of the Play Store’s payment gateway, which means that Google doesn’t get a share of the purchase.

The search engine giant does allow third-party payment methods now, but it requires developers to add the options alongside the Google Pay option, and the app is violating this rule.

This is the first time Google stopped Play Store users from updating an application due to the new payment policies. You can easily update the application on other app operators, like One Store and App Store.

In a note, Google talked about its in-app payments policy. It wrote that developers selling digital services must use the company’s billing system. But, if a company (starting from 1st June 2022) does not comply with this, the application will be removed from Google Play.

Paying commission

The problem traces back to how developers have had to hand over a big amount of their revenue to Apple or Google for every application transaction. In the past, tech companies got a 30% commission, which many developers thought was too high.

But it has recently decreased for certain types of developers as both Apple and Google charge a 15% commission from small developers.

After South Korea passed a law that allowed app developers to add third-party payment systems, Google had to drop its commission by 4% to compensate for the price of using another payment method.

KakaoTalk might not be the only application affected by the updated policy. Shortly, Google could give other apps that refuse to follow its ‘rules’ similar treatment.

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