Paytm and Paytm First Games apps have been removed from the Google Play Store. Both of these popular Indian mobile wallet apps were removed, for breaching the gambling policies of the Play Store. Paytm currently has more than 50 million active monthly users in India and it is among the most successful start-ups in India as of now. Its signature application, competing with Google Pay in India, vanished later on Friday from the region’s Play Store. Google said that casino games and other unauthorized gaming applications that allow online gambling in India are prohibited by the Play Store. Paytm, who advertised a fantasy sports platform inside its app, repeatedly broken the policies of the Play Store, as per the officials of Google Play Store. Paytm’s sports betting service, also known as Paytm First Games, is the main app in question.
In contrast, the Google Play Store, that imposes identical betting rules in many other countries, stated that if an application takes users to an online site that allows them to compete in paid competitions to earn actual money or cash incentives, it would also be considered in breach of its Play Store regulations. In a letter that Google sent to several companies in India, the company asked developers to suspend all advertisement promotions in their apps that push people to services that sell online gambling app files. Google’s Pay app currently leads India’s payments industry, and Android controls approximately 99% of the mobile market share in the count.
Taking down the Paytm and Paytm First Games app is also a deliberate step by Google to alert other companies of its gambling regulations ahead of the famous Indian Premier League cricket league, that is planned to begin tomorrow. Past IPL seasons, that run for almost two months attract the attention of hundreds of millions of Indians, and in the same time, the internet has seen an increase in downloads of the apps and services that allows users to do online gambling/betting on sports.
Is Paytm A Chinese Company?
PayTM is operated by an Indian technology firm in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, under the branding of One97 Communications Ltd. It was established by Vijay Shekhar Sharma back in 2010, who is now the company’s SEO. The business began with an estimated $2 million investment, subsequently raising much more money from foreign lenders. Although the organization is wholly Indian, PayTM names its main shareholder, Ant Financial, a Chinese investor company.
For those who are unfamiliar, Ant Financial is basically a Chinese company which is owned by Alibaba Group and it currently has about $150 billion worth as the world’s highest-valued FinTech firm. Although there has been regular outrage over the Chinese investment in the PayTM company, but the Indian payment gateway of this app is developed by Indian developers. This also means that PayTM cannot be called as a “Chinese app”, so the recent streak of Chinese apps getting banned in India will definitely not include PayTm.
Although sporting betting in India is restricted, fantasy sports apps are not illegal in most of the Indian states. If users pick their desired players, and if their chosen teams or players perform well then the users win real money. A well-known individual said that Google has requested Disney+ Hotstar, a popular video streaming service on request in India, to send an alert before advertisements for fantasy sports apps are played.
Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma has blamed Google in a tv interview with CNBC TV18 of not helping Paytm to gain new customers. He admitted that Google had recently approached Paytm and addressed questions about Paytm’s First Games, but Paytm’s key application was for “nothing but” paying consumers in cashback. He added that if the Paytm is not permitted to offer consumers with cashback, then the same rules should apply to all other companies too. In the PayTM app, the cashback is given in cricket-based scratch cards. Both Google Pay and PhonePe from Walmart offer similar offers to customers in India.
He said the Paytm sticker was rolling out for cashback rewards at the beginning of Friday. Google raised objections and removed the app hours ago. In the meantime, the Indian Fantasy Sports Federation (FIFS), an “industry body” for some fantasy sports businesses, has asked Google to act immediately in companies selling or supporting fantasy sports through the play store. The founder member of the FIFS is Dream Sports, who also owns India’s most popular fantasy game app, Dream 11. Since Dream11 is not available on the Play Store, PayTM was deleted from the Google Play Store today. We expect PayTM to return to the Play Store in a few days or weeks, so keep visiting our blog to know about the latest update.