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Google shuts down KakaoTalk updates since this popular application for communication fails to abide by billing rules.

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Aizaz khan
Aizaz khan
Aizaz was the first person to get a byline on his blog on technology from his home in Bannu in 2017. Then, he went on to a career in breaking things professionally at my electric sparks which is where he eventually took over the kit as a hardware editor. Today, as the senior editor of hardware for my electric sparks, he spends time reporting about the most recent developments in the hardware industry and technology. If he's not reporting on hardware or electronics, you'll see him trying to be as remote from the world of technology as possible through camping in the wild.

It is known that the Google Play Store has been increasing its bill-paying policies in the last few years, and several prominent apps have been able to comply with the new guidelines. The issue was that in South Korea, though, Google was forced to block updates to the messaging application Kakaotalk because the app refused to comply with rules regarding billing. But, as of now, Kakaotalk has agreed to Google’s conditions.

Update 7/14: As reported by TechCrunch, Kakaotalk has removed links to its external billing to comply with Google Play’s terms. Kakao said that the removal was for “users’ convenience.”

Our original report on Kakao’s fight with Google is as follows.

News1, an outlet in South Korea (via TechCrunch ), reports that Google has blocked updates to Kakaotalk through the Google Play Store. This leaves the app functional for Android users within the country but blocks Kakaotalk from making updates to the app.

What is the reason for this drastic action?

As per this story, Google has stopped Kakaotalk due to the app’s incompatibility with Play Store billing policies.

Kakaotalk has maintained an external website for billing users well past the June 1, 2022 deadline. Google had forced developers to adhere to the billing guidelines on the Play Store. In many countries, developers utilize Google’s billing tools, which allow payment via credit/debit cards, gift cards, and third-party billing providers like PayPal.

However, there was a problem in South Korea; Google announced an updated policy that allows apps in the Play Store to use third-party billing tools. However, it do not permit developers to connect to other websites to the bill as Kakaotalk continues to do.

Google provides a detailed explanation of the following on the support page:

  • As a result of recent legislation, we will offer all developers the ability to offer an alternative in-app billing system alongside Google Play’s billing system for South Korean users making in-app purchases within Play-distributed apps on mobile phones and tablets.
  • Developers will still be subject to a service fee for transactions using an alternative in-app billing system, but the service fee will be reduced by 4%. For example, when the service fee is 15% for transactions through Google Play’s billing system, it will be 11% for transactions made through an alternative billing system.

According to Google’s regulations, Kakaotalk is risking being taken off its Play Store entirely. Google has stated that from June 1, “any app that is still not compliant will be removed from Google Play.” The company has not commented on the matter at the time of writing.

Kakaotalk is thought to have more than 53 million registered users and is predominantly located within South Korea.

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