Google Plays Chicken with Taiwanese Government

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

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    GrlGmr says:

    The current time limit for refunds on the Android Market is 15 minutes, which is way too short. The problem comes when you install an app that has a long setup period, or downloads a large file after purchase.

    I bought an app for $15 that needed a file that took 20 minutes to download after the install was finished. Luckily it worked OK on my phone, but if it hadn’t I would have been SOL.

  2. 0
    Father Time says:

    1 Week works for things like MMOs or complex software you’d use to do things in an office or a classroom, but really for things like cell phone games you can beat in a day or two … I can’t say I’d do anything differently if I was Google.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  3. 0
    katiekat says:

    The  big question is was that $us or $Taiwanese because  am sure that makes a huge difference lol

    am dyslexic and have a learning disablement from when i died as a baby and sustained brain damage do to lack of oxygen pleas pardon my bad spelling and grammar

Leave a Reply