Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw Stands Against App Delisting in Google-Indian Startups Controversy

Google agrees to temporarily restore delisted Indian apps after talks with the Union IT Minister and engagement with the startup community. Stay updated on the latest developments.

Manisha Sharma
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Google delisted Indian Apps

Google delisted Indian App

Google has agreed to temporarily reinstate delisted Indian apps following discussions with Union Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and engagements with the startup community. This decision by Google to temporarily bring back delisted Indian apps on its Play Store comes amidst government intervention. The move follows appeals from affected developers with pending cases in the Supreme Court. This temporary reinstatement highlights Google's readiness to address concerns while maintaining its established business model.


Google initially removed apps developed by 10 Indian developers due to non-compliance with its payments policy, which mandates sharing 11-30% service fees for all in-app purchases of digital goods and services. Among the affected companies was Info Edge, with five apps -, Naukri Recruiter, Naukrigulf, 99acres, and Shiksha. As of Saturday afternoon, three of these apps -, Naukrigulf, and 99acres - were reinstated. is the only other app that has been re-listed.

On Tuesday, Google announced that it would temporarily restore all Indian apps previously removed from its Play Store, including their billing systems. This marks a momentary pause in the conflict between the company and India's startup ecosystem. While Google will still bill these apps for service fees owed, it plans to defer collection to a later, unspecified date.

While reinstating the apps, Google intends to uphold its authority to enforce its business model, stressing the equitable application of its policies. During this interim period, developers will continue to be charged for applicable service fees. According to reports, IT and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw emphasized the significance of the startup ecosystem to the Indian economy, asserting that their destiny should not be dictated solely by big tech companies. Google's statement follows a meeting with IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, which also included affected start-ups.


"In the spirit of cooperation, we are temporarily reinstating the developers' apps while their appeals are pending in the Supreme Court," a Google representative stated. Google continues to be entitled to apply and uphold the terms of its business model, as determined by multiple courts. In the interim, we will bill our entire amount due for service fees and are extending the due dates for these businesses. We're excited to work together to find solutions that take into account everyone's needs."

Why Google Delisted Indian Apps: Exploring the Causes

When Google India pulled several locally developed apps from its Play Store last week, the news went viral. The apps' noncompliance with Google's billing policies prompted this action. Over the previous three years, these delisted apps had been eschewing Google's in-app digital goods billing policies. Google quickly responded by taking action against these applications.


Google published its Payments policy back in 2020, offering three payment choices to Indian developers. Google charges developers a service charge for in-app purchases and subscriptions on its Play Store platform, which varies from 15 to 30 percent. But when Google was fined by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in October 2022 for engaging in anticompetitive behavior about its Play Store policies, things took a turn for the worse. This incident emphasizes how divisive the topic at hand is.

What is the government's viewpoint on the issue of delisting Indian apps from app stores?

The removal of Indian apps has sparked significant concerns about the future and security of Indian startups and entrepreneurs. This action prompted government intervention, with Minister of Information and Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw expressing support for affected Indian startups. The government intends to meet with Google and the impacted startup founders to address the issue and seek a resolution. Approaching the matter with gravity, Vaishnaw stated, "India is very clear, our policy is very clear...our startups will get the protection they need."



The matter is scheduled to be addressed in the Supreme Court later this month, on March 19, 2024. Stakeholders are expecting a joint effort to explore solutions that can satisfy the requirements of developers, the government, and Google.


Despite the ongoing dispute between the tech giant and the Indian government, the temporary reinstatement of delisted Indian apps marks progress toward resolving the tussle between Google and Indian app developers. This move not only provides relief to the affected developers but also opens avenues for constructive dialogue to address the underlying concerns and find mutually beneficial solutions.