Technology entrepreneurs have petitioned the Indian government seeking support to create an Indian app store which would rival Google's market dominance in India, which government officials claims stands at 98% of Indian Android operating systems.
In response to the issue of overseas tech giants dominating India’s digital app sector, India's government has stated that it would enforce a 30% commission on in-app purchases. Government officials note that whilst the company's market share stands at 98% in India it is much lower in other countries including the US. As a result, the Indian government “is not averse to the idea” of an Indian digital app ecosystem considering “this may be unfair trade practice which builds a strong case for having an alternative,” officials told the Economic Times.
Officials are considering the scaling up the existing digital store for government apps, which include the health app Aarogya Setu, India’s coronavirus contact-tracing app
However, critics consider pre-loading government apps on phones, a method for the state to closely monitor citizens. Citing privacy concerns and fears that the data would be harvested by the state. Bearing in mind the weak data protection laws in the country.
Vivek Wadhwa, technology entrepreneur and academic said the digital industry can break away from tech giants without the governments help:
“they [developers and entrepreneurs] can just crowdsource […] If it (the local app store) is scaled up globally after being initially successful in India, developers around the world will be happy to be on an alternative platform where they don’t have to shell out a hefty 30%.”
Read more from Economic Times.