A new consumer protection law in Taiwan that requires online software retailers to offer customers a week-long free trial of any application that can be purchased via download has riled Google enough to disable Android Marketplace sales in the region. According to the government of Taiwan, Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market both violated this new policy.
While Apple complied with the new rule, Google declined. For that reason the Taiwanese government has fined Google approximately $35,000. In response to that fine, Google has disabled app purchases for Android users who live in Taiwan.
The complex and highly disparate nature of laws governing commerce around the world pose serious challenges for global software vendors. The difficulty of navigating and complying with regional legal obligations is one of the reasons why Google’s Android Market isn’t fully supported yet in every country.
Google used to offer a 24-hour refund for the Android Market, but dropped the refund time limit to 15 minutes last year. This change was due in part to application developers, who voiced concerns over potential abuses of the 24-hour return period. They asked that it be reduced or abolished altogether.
It’s clear that Google is playing a game of chicken with the Taiwanese government, but it is doubtful who will blink first.
Source: Ars Technica