The company which does no evil but sees all evil from its satellites high in the sky, Google, continues to flout laws wherever it chooses.
As we think we broke in the Western press while out at Computex, Taipei City’s government is demanding app store owners to offer a 7-day try-to-buy period for all applications. This includes the big guns, Apple and Google.
As usual, Google thinks it has it right. 15 minutes is plenty of time, a spokesperson told the FT: “Android Market already provides a 15 minute refund window for all paid apps – which reflects the fact that apps are delivered over-the-air instantly and most users who request a refund do so within minutes of their purchase.”
In a deft swish of its magic wand, the wizards at Google banished all paid applications to some other universe rather than abide by, er, a country’s law.
In turn, Taipei has fined Google approximately $35,000, which is not so much water off a duck’s back but a little dribble on a blue whale.
Although Taiwan’s population is comparatively small, Google should remember that some of its favourite – read: money making – partners include HTC, born of the plucky island nation. HTC phones are incredibly popular in the country and it risks losing friends and alienating people. Isn’t there a book about that? You can’t buy it in the Android Market, not in Taipei.
However, the FT believes Taipei’s bellowing will go unheard, and is primarily a quick-fix popularity contest to woo the average Joe before upcoming elections.