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Indian Government Takes Firm Stand Against Google’s App Delisting

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Union IT and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw
File photo of Union IT and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw | Photo Credit: ANI

In a recent development concerning Google’s decision to delist certain Indian apps from its Play Store, IT and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has voiced strong opposition, stating that the delisting of Indian apps cannot be permitted. The move by Google has sparked a heated debate over the role of big tech companies in shaping the fate of Indian startups, prompting the government to take decisive action.

Importance of Startup Ecosystem

Minister Vaishnaw emphasized the pivotal role of the startup ecosystem in driving the Indian economy forward. He stressed that the fate of Indian startups should not be subject to the whims of big tech corporations, highlighting the need for safeguarding their interests.

Government Intervention

In response to Google’s actions, the Indian government has taken a proactive stance by calling for a meeting with the tech company and the affected startups. Minister Vaishnaw asserted that such delisting cannot be permitted, underscoring the government’s commitment to protecting Indian startups from undue disruptions.

Resolution Efforts

Efforts are underway to address the dispute through dialogue and negotiation. The government has scheduled a meeting with Google and the app developers who have been delisted to seek a resolution to the issue. Minister Vaishnaw’s proactive approach demonstrates the government’s determination to find a fair and equitable solution.

Defense of Indian Startups

Minister Vaishnaw highlighted the remarkable growth of the Indian startup ecosystem, citing the emergence of over one lakh startups and more than 100 unicorns in the past decade. He emphasized the need to harness the energy and talent of Indian entrepreneurs, stressing that their future should not be dictated by the policies of big tech companies.

Dispute Overview

The dispute between Google and Indian startups revolves around service fee payments, with Google citing non-compliance by certain companies as the reason for delisting their apps. However, the move has drawn criticism from affected startups and industry leaders, who view it as detrimental to the Indian internet landscape.

Call for Strategic Response

Industry voices, including Info Edge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani, have called for a strategic response to the situation. Bikhchandani advocates for the development of a Digital Public Infrastructure akin to UPI and ONDC, emphasizing the need for a long-term solution to ensure a fair and transparent marketplace for Indian apps.

In conclusion, the Indian government’s firm stance against Google’s app delisting reflects its commitment to protecting the interests of Indian startups and fostering a conducive environment for their growth. The scheduled meeting between the government, Google, and the affected parties signals a proactive approach towards resolving the dispute and upholding the principles of fairness and equity in the digital ecosystem.

Source: The Hindu

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