Google has announced that it will be stopping its Google Play Store services in Pakistan from December 1, 2022. This is a big blow to the Pakistani app development industry, which was already struggling to get a foothold in the international market. The Pakistani government has not yet responded to this news, but they will likely be working on a solution to keep the apps accessible to their citizens. In the meantime, here are some of the best alternatives to the Google Play Store for Pakistani users.
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Google Play Store to Stop Serving Apps in Pakistan
The Google Play Store will no longer be available for Pakistanis to download apps starting in December. This is due to the Pakistani government’s request to block access to the store, which they say is in response to “negative content” on the platform.
This news comes after the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) issued a notice to Google earlier this month, asking them to take action against “blasphemous and indecent” content on the Play Store. The PTA specifically mentioned an app called “Azaan – Alarm & Quran”, which they said was “offensive and hurts the religious sentiments of Muslims”.
While it’s not clear what kind of “neg
Google’s Reasoning for the Ban
In response to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) request, Google will no longer allow new apps to be published in the country starting December 1st. The PTA had reportedly sent a letter to Google in September, asking the company to “block access” to certain “immoral” and “blasphemous” content. While it’s not clear what specific apps or content the PTA was referring to, it seems that the decision was made in an attempt to censor information and limit freedom of expression.
This isn’t the first time that Pakistan has censored content on the internet. In 2010, the country blocked access to YouTube after videos containing “ sacrilegious material” were uploaded. And earlier this year, Pakistan banned TikTok after deeming it “immoral and ethically harmful.”
While it’s disappointing to see Google caving into censorship requests, it’s not entirely surprising. After all, Google has a long history of complying with government requests to remove content from its platforms. A recent report found that Google has removed over 800 million pieces of content at the behest of governments around the world over the past eight years.
What is perhaps most concerning about this latest development is that it could set a precedent for other countries to follow suit. If one government can successfully pressure Google into censoring content, then others may
The Impact of the Ban
The ban on Google Play Store will have a significant impact on the Pakistani app market. While many local app stores serve the Pakistani market, they pale in comparison to the global reach and scale of the Google Play Store. This is likely to lead to a decline in the number of apps available to Pakistani users, as well as a decrease in app quality and innovation.
The ban will also make it more difficult for Pakistani developers to reach a global audience. While some developers may be able to continue distributing their apps through other channels, such as third-party app stores or directly to users, this will be a challenge for many. The loss of access to the Google Play Store will also limit the ability of Pakistani developers to take advantage of Google’s powerful marketing and distribution platform.
What App Developers Can Do to Combat the Ban
There are a few things app developers can do to combat the Google Play Store ban in Pakistan.
First, developers should continue to support and update their apps for Pakistani users. There are still many people who will be able to use your apps, even after the ban goes into effect.
Second, developers should reach out to alternative app stores and marketplaces that will still be operating in Pakistan. There are a number of these stores, and they may be willing to host your apps.
Finally, developers should consider creating workarounds that will allow Pakistani users to access your apps. This may require some technical work, but it could be worth it to maintain your presence in the Pakistani market.