Google removes Indian apps on disputes over payments

India’s founder Murugavel Janakiraman terms the move a "dark day" for India's internet
An undated image of Google Plex California. — Pixabay
An undated image of Google Plex California. — Pixabay

Google on Friday removed Indian apps, including some popular matrimony apps such as Bharat Matrimony, of 10 companies due to a dispute over fee payments.

It should be noted that Indian startups have been protesting against many of the US practices, including app fee charges; meanwhile, Google says its fees help develop and promote the Android and the Play Store app ecosystem.

India's matchmaking apps which have been removed from Google’s Play Store are:

  1. Bharat Matrimony
  2. Christian Matrimony
  3. Muslim Matrimony
  4. Jodii

In a blog post, Google said 10 Indian companies had chosen for an extended period not to pay for the "immense value they receive on Google Play". It did not identify the firms.

"For years, no court or regulator has denied Google Play's right to charge," the company said.

Google said allowing some developers "to get differential treatment from the vast majority of developers who are paying their fair share creates an uneven playing field."

Google dominates the Indian market as 94% of phones are based on its Android platform.

Just 3% of the more than 200,000 Indian developers who use the Google Play platform are required to pay any service fee, Google said.

India’s founder Murugavel Janakiraman termed it a "dark day" for India's internet, he said. "Our apps are getting deleted one by one. It means all the top matrimony services will be deleted."

Matrimonial apps and websites have been growing in popularity in India as younger people shun traditional matchmaking by parents.'s Bharat Matrimony app had been downloaded more than 50 million times, Janakiraman said. The company said it has more than 40 million customers.

The dispute centres on efforts by some Indian startups to stop Google from imposing a fee of 11% to 26% on in-app payments, after the country's antitrust authorities ordered it to dismantle an earlier system of charging 15% to 30%.

But Google effectively received a go-ahead to charge the fee or remove apps after two court decisions in January and February, one by the Supreme Court.

The unit of Alphabet Inc sent notices on Friday of Play Store violations to and Info Edge, which runs a similar app, Jeevansathi. shares fell as much as 2.7% initially but closed up 2.2% on Friday, while Info Edge dropped 1.5% before paring losses.

Info Edge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani said it had cleared all pending Google invoices promptly and was compliant with its policies, adding he continued to have discussions with Google. None of his company's apps had so far been taken down despite the notice from Google, he added.

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.