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Apple Plans to Allow Alternative Payment Systems in South Korea

Telecom regulator said Apple submitted plans to allow third-party payment systems on its app store, to comply with a new law banning operators from forcing developers to use their systems

Korea passed a law in Sept 2021 to try to stop Apple and Google charging users for in-app purchases. File photo of an Apple store (in Wuhan) by Reuters.


South Korea’s telecommunications regulator said on Tuesday that Apple Inc has submitted plans to allow third-party payment systems on its app store, to comply with a new law banning major app store operators from forcing software developers to use their payments systems.

Apple’s announcement comes after the Korea Communications Commission‘s (KCC) requested Apple and Alphabet’s Google to submit compliance plans after the law was passed in August last year. The law went into effect in September.

Google announced its plans to allow alternative payment systems in South Korea in November to comply with the amended Telecommunication Business Act, which was dubbed the “anti-Google law”.

“Apple has a great deal of respect for Korea’s laws and a strong history of collaboration with the country’s talented app developers … We look forward to working with the KCC and our developer community on a solution that benefits our Korean users,” Apple said in a statement. 

These developments came after Korea amended the Telecommunication Business Act to try to curb the tech majors’ market dominance and stop the big app store operators charging commissions on in-app purchases.

Apple initially told the South Korean government that it was already complying and did not need to change its app store policy, a KCC official in charge of the matter said. That prompted an official to warn of a possible investigation into the iPhone maker’s compliance.

The KCC said on Tuesday that Apple plans to allow alternative payment systems for a lower service fee versus the current 30% commissions. 

Apple did not provide details, such as timeline of when the change will take effect or commission fee rates, but it plans to discuss further details with the KCC, the regulator said.


• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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