Google reinstates Indian apps on Play Store following government intervention By Elets News Network - 04 March 2024

Ashwini Vaishnaw

Following discussions with Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Google has agreed to reinstate several key Indian applications on its Play Store, a day after their removal, according to a report by media reports. The reinstatement includes apps such as Naukri, 99acres, and Naukrigulf, marking a swift resolution to the issue. This move comes shortly after Vaishnaw issued a firm warning to Google regarding the delisting of Indian apps, emphasizing the government’s commitment to protecting the nation’s startups.

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had previously issued a strong caution to Google regarding the removal of Indian apps, emphasizing India’s commitment to safeguarding its startup ecosystem. “India’s stance and policy are unequivocal…our startups will receive the necessary protection,” stated Vaishnaw. He also mentioned that he had contacted both Google and the affected app developers for a meeting to discuss the issue, underscoring that such removals were unacceptable.

Google had initially removed 10 mobile applications from the Play Store last Friday, alleging that these apps did not adhere to its billing policy requirements. Notable apps among the delisted ones included Bharatmatrimony,, and Naukri.

The move sparked criticism from Indian business leaders, who appealed to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to intervene against Google’s actions, deeming them “anti-competitive.”

Anupam Mittal, the founder of and a recognized figure in the Indian business community, expressed his dismay, referring to the day as a “dark day for India’s Internet.” He criticized Google’s actions on X, highlighting the ongoing legal proceedings and accused Google of disregarding Indian legal and regulatory frameworks, comparing it to historical colonial exploitation.

Despite the controversy, Google defended its pricing strategy, stating that its charges for apps listed on the Play Store are among the lowest globally. The company clarified that it only imposes fees on digital goods transactions, which affect a minor fraction of developers in India.

The incident has prompted discussions within the Indian startup community about the necessity of establishing a national mobile application store as an alternative to combat what they perceive as unfair practices by the American tech giant.

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