Google Play tax: the store stops distributing KakaoTalk updates in South Korea

In South Korea, Google refuses to deploy updates to the very popular KakaoTalk messenger on its Play Store. This sanction comes as the store has just brought itself into line with a new law requiring it to open up to alternative means of payment in the country. If this change offers a little more flexibility to developers, KakaoTalk offers a link on its service to pay for purchases on an external site: enough to provoke the anger of Google.

The KakaoTalk app on Android.

If the American company had no other choice but to open up to alternative means of payment, it still wants to keep some control. In-app purchases remain under its control: new purchasing methods must be offered alongside its in-house payment solution, which allows it to continue to levy a tax. This has been reduced by 4 points compared to the standard system, for example from 30% to 26%.

But if the user goes through an external payment link sending him to a website in his browser, the Mountain View company does not touch anything. The commissions for certain purchases made on KakaoTalk (more than 53 million users all the same) therefore pass under his nose. The developers confirmed that Google was rejecting the app because it ” was not in compliance with the payment policy of the platform.

As it is, the messaging remains usable in the country, and the application continues to be updated on the App Store and on alternative Android stores. Users can still download the latest version of KakaoTalk via an .APK file, but the battle could end quickly: the application runs the risk of being removed from the Play Store altogether.


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