Google bends the knee to South Korea, allows third-party in-app payments

Naturally, our beloved tech giants Google and Apple want you to exclusively use their own billing systems for in-app purchases on mobiles and tablets.

For that reason, they have been facing global scrutiny for forcing developers to user their payment systems and charging them with an up to 30% commission. Governments around the world have been seeking to curb their control, but to no avail.

Until now.

South Korea’s “anti-Google” law has… worked!

Perhaps you remember that in August South Korea passed a new bill, dubbed also as the “anti-Google” law, banning big app store operators like Google and Apple from forcing developers to exclusively use their payments systems.

The law went into effect in mid-September and if any app store operator fails to comply they’ll have to pay 3% of their South Korean revenue.

While we’d expect that Google would’t easily give in and go without a fight, the unexpected has happened.

On Thursday, Google announced through a blog post that it would comply with the South Korean law and allow third-party payment options for in-app purchases. 

And that’s the first time Google has ever amended its privacy policy for a specific country. I repeat: THE FIRST TIME EVER.

How does it work?

The announcement says:

In response to the recent legislation, developers will now be able to add an alternative in-app billing system, alongside Google Play’s billing system, for their mobile and tablet users in South Korea. At checkout, users will be able to choose which billing system to use.

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