Google Agrees To Restore Indian Apps After Centre's Intervention: Sources

The decision was taken after Google officials held a meeting with IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, sources said.

Google has initiated the process to restore Indian mobile apps which had been dropped from the Play Store over a dispute over service fees. The decision was taken after the company's officials held a meeting with IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, sources said.

On Friday, Google had removed apps belonging to 10 Indian companies, sparking controversy in one of its fastest-growing markets. Google dominates the Indian market as 94% of phones are based on its Android platform. The list included well-known names such as Bharatmatrimony and Naukri.

The dispute primarily revolves around Google's imposition of fees ranging from 11% to 26% on in-app payments. Indian startups have long protested against what they deem as unfair practices by the US tech giant., the founder of Bharat Matrimony, Christian Matrimony, Muslim Matrimony, and Jodii, expressed dismay as its matchmaking apps were taken down from Google's Play Store. Founder Murugavel Janakiraman referred to it as a dark day for India's internet, emphasizing the potential widespread impact on matrimony services.

"Our apps are getting deleted one by one. It literally means all the top matrimony services will be deleted," Mr Janakiraman said as quoted by news agency Reuters.

Earlier today, Mr Vaishnaw said there is a need to protect Indian startup ecosytem and the government is trying to convey the same to Google.

"We have a very big and vibrant startup ecosystem. We should take all steps to see that this ecosystem is protected. Google has been a good adopter of Indian technologies. I am quite hopeful that Google will be reasonable with its approach," the minister told NDTV before he met Google representatives.

In 2020, Google briefly removed popular Indian payments app Paytm from its Play Store citing some policy violations. The move led to the company's founder and the wider startup industry joining together to challenge Google by launching their own app stores and filing legal cases.