August 14, 2022

What you need to know

  • Google has halted updates to messaging app KakaoTalk in South Korea for offering its own billing method.
  • The Play Store has a standing rule for developers to use Google’s first-party billing system for in-app purchases.
  • KakaoTalk is temporarily offering a direct app installation file in response to the block.

Google Play’s current billing system policy has sparked controversies in various parts of the world due to its restrictive attitude towards third-party payment methods. South Korea, in particular, passed a bill last year prohibiting tech giants from forcing developers to use their first-party billing method, but that hasn’t stopped Google from cracking down on the policy’s first casualty.

A new report (opens in new tab) from South Korea says that the search giant has halted Play Store updates to KakaoTalk, a popular messaging app in South Korea, due to billing issues (via TechCrunch (opens in new tab)). The app’s Android version still includes an external payment link to its website as of June 1, when Google’s billing system policy in the country took effect.