Google is the ‘judge, jury, and executioner’. That’s how Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma hit back at the tech giant after his app was provisionally removed from Playstore last month. Later, in a shocking turn of events, the company launched its Android mini app store to support Indian developers to take their apps to the masses.
Now, the Alibaba-backed startup is aiming for one million apps on its mini-app store by Q1 2020, seeking to challenge the dominance of Google in the nation’s mobile web community. A mini-app store is basically hosted within a bigger app and the UX may not be as smooth as a standalone app, but it can save time and money involved in developing a more complex app.
Speaking on the new mini-app store, Mr. Sharma said in a virtual conference that neither a firm from the East nor a firm from the West, if someone would rule India it would be an Indian company. The new mini-app store would allow app developers to forget about going through somebody else’s roads or kingdom, he stated while adding that the company will develop a $1.37 million fund for the nation’s mini-app developers.
Google, whose Android OS powers around 99% of the nation’s roughly 500 million mobile phones, has faced criticism from numerous startups in the nation over its decision to enforce its global policy strictly and charge a 30 percent commission for in-app purchases. The criticism has forced the company to announce a new deadline for Indian companies to comply with the new billing system.
For Google, the dispute against Paytm and other several Indian app startups develops new challenges in one of its top growth regions, where it has decided to spend around USD 10 billion over the seven years through tie-ups and equity investments. The company faced four antitrust cases in the nation, the recent of which alleges that Google abused its top position in the Android operating system segment to garner a partial advantage in the smart TV market.
Meanwhile, the tech giant didn’t respond to a request for comment.