Why Apps are Being Removed and Reinstated by Google on Play Store

It .appears that Google previously removed several popular Indian apps from its Play Store due to violations, particularly related to payment terms. However, these apps seem to have been reinstated after the companies complied with Google's policies

Kapish Khajuria
New Update
Why apps are being removed and reinstated by Google on Play Store

It appears that Google previously removed several popular Indian apps from its Play Store due to violations, particularly related to payment terms. However, these apps seem to have been reinstated after the companies complied with Google's policies.


On Google Play, apps have three options for accepting payments for digital services: using Google's billing system, utilizing alternative payment methods where the company charges a commission, or using a consumption mode where the developer redirects the user to an external website for payments. Violations of these policies led to the removal of certain apps.

Given that Android holds a market share of over 90% in India, having an app on the Play Store is crucial for developers and companies to reach a wide subscriber base. This makes compliance with Google's policies important for continued success and visibility on the platform.

Which popular apps were removed from the Play Store?


The recent removal of several popular Indian apps from the Google Play Store has sparked a contentious dispute between app developers and the tech giant. Notable apps such as, Naukri, 99acres, and Jeevansathi were among those delisted, prompting strong reactions from both the government and the founders of the affected companies.

What was the Government and founder's reaction to the removal of certain apps from the Play Store?

Founders and representatives of these apps expressed concern over Google's decision, with Anupam Mittal, founder of People Group which operates, calling for government intervention to ensure compliance with regulatory orders and the restoration of the delisted apps.


Additionally, Kuku FM co-founder voiced dismay over their app's removal from the Play Store, highlighting the impact on their multi-lingual audio platform's user base.

What is the main cause of app removal?

The dispute revolves around Google's decision to increase its in-app purchase commission from 11% to 26%, prompting resistance from Indian app developers. This move followed directives from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to revise fee structures, which were challenged by developers in court but ultimately denied.


This move came amidst legal battles where app developers contested Google's payment terms, a situation exacerbated when both the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court refused to intervene in favor of the developers.

Google, in response, defended its actions by stating that several developers had opted not to comply with payment policies, thereby justifying the removal of their apps from the Play Store. This move has further heightened the standoff between Google and Indian app developers, prompting calls for alternatives to the Play Store ecosystem.

Is there any other platform or app store?


PhonePe has recently launched the Indus Appstore as a direct competitor to Google's Play Store, positioning itself as a transformative force in India's digital landscape. With over 200,000 mobile applications and games available in 12 Indian languages, Indus Appstore aims to offer Indian consumers a diverse selection of apps.

Developers are also being incentivized with a waiver of app listing fees for one year, extending until April 1, 2025. This move is significant as it enables users to access a wide array of apps catering to their linguistic preferences, potentially capturing a substantial portion of the Indian market.

In response to Google's dominance, India's Mobile Seva or mSeva AppStore, launched in 2013, has garnered considerable attention with its collection of 1,197 live apps and over 90 million downloads. This diversification within the Indian app ecosystem poses a challenge to Google's monopoly on app distribution.


What's next in the line for Google to ban apps on its Play Store?

Google's control over its Play Store continues to face regulatory challenges. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) may intervene in this tech dispute, with a hearing scheduled for March 19. Previously, the CCI had directed Google to address its anticompetitive practices and allow third-party app stores on the Play Store. Yet, this directive was overturned by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in March 2023.

Beyond India, Google is also under regulatory scrutiny in various other countries, including the UK, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia. These regulatory investigations highlight the global concern over Google's business practices within its Play Store ecosystem.