Paytm on Thursday said it aims to support one million apps on its recently launched Android Mini App Store as part of its efforts to support Indian developers and compete against tech giant Google in India’s mobile web economy.
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma – who has been vociferously voicing his concerns around the “monopolistic” behaviour of the US-based company – said with its steep 30 per cent fee, Google has started to play the role of a “toll collector” instead of enabling the ecosystem.
“App developers are dependent on a giant monopoly, Google and Google has started to play like a toll collector instead of trying to enable the ecosystem only…we will bring one million apps before Google opens its charging obligation on each Indian developers,” he said.
That criticism led the US tech giant this week to defer by six months its deadline for Indian companies to comply with the new billing systemPaytm’s Sharma is trying to use the discontent to attract business to it’s newly launched mini app store, which is hosted within the Paytm app. He has vowed not to charge domestic app developers any fees.
“Neither a company from the East nor a company from the West, if someone will rule India it will be an Indian company,” Sharma said in the virtual conference. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A mini-application is typically hosted within a bigger app and the user experience may not be as seamless as a standalone app, but it can save app developers the time and money involved in building more complex apps.
Paytm’s mini-app store will allow “app developers to, for good, forget about going through somebody else’s kingdom or roads,” Sharma said.
Paytm, also backed by Japan’s Softbank and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, will create an Rs. 10,00,000 fund for India’s mini-app developers, Sharma added.
For Google, the face-off against Paytm and other Indian app startups creates a new problem in one of its top growth markets, where it has committed to spending around $10 billion (roughly Rs. 73,265 crores) over the next five to seven years through equity investments and tie-ups.
Google also faces four antitrust cases in India, the latest of which alleges the Mountain View, California-based tech giant abused its Android operating system’s dominant position to garner an unfair advantage in the smart TV market. Google has denied any wrongdoing.