Google Play Store is not shutting down and it will remain available and continue to work in Pakistan after December 1 regardless of online reports claiming that Google Play Services will remain unavailable in the country due to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) stopping $34 million in Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) payment to tech companies.
There are several online reports stating that users from Pakistan will be unbale to download apps or make in-app purchases on the Google Play Store from December 1 as it will be shutting down because the company will suspend its Google Play Services in the country due to non-payment of $34 million for Direct Carrier Billing (DCB).
What is Direct Carrier Billing (DCB)?
Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) allows users to pay for apps or in-app purchases on the Google Play Store using their mobile credit. According to the details, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has suspended DCB payments worth $34 million to overseas tech companies to save the country’s precious foreign exchange reserves.
What’s Going to Happen?
It is pertinent to mention that only Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) will be suspended, which means that users will be able to buy apps or make in-app purchases using their Debit or Credit Cards. However, DCB options will remain unavailable until said payments are made to respective tech companies.
These companies include the likes of Google, Amazon, Meta, and more.
The news caused a panic amongst Android users and several reports emerged that any kind of purchases will remain unavailable on the Google Play Store since the company will suspend Google Play Services in the country. However, these reports are false and completely misguiding people.
IT Minister Responds
In a series of Tweets, the Minister for IT and Telecom, Amin-ul-Haque, has responded to the issue and told Finance Ministry to direct the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to continue payments to tech companies. He added that decisions regarding IT related work must include the consultation of the Ministry.
وفاقی وزیر آئی ٹی و ٹیلی کام سید امین الحق نے وزیر خزانہ اسحاق ڈار کو خط ارسال کردیا.— Ministry of IT & Telecom (@MoitOfficial) November 26, 2022
“کچھ روز قبل تمام ٹیلی کام آپریٹرز کی جانب سے وزارت آئی ٹی کو خط لکھا گیا تھا. خط میں اسٹیٹ بینک کی جانب سے گوگل کو ادائیگی روکنے کے حوالے سے خدشات کا اظہار کیا گیا تھا.
The minister added that Pakistan’s telecom industry was already facing tough challenges, which are going to be further aggravated by SBP’s suspension of DCB payments. Amin-ul-Haque said that stopping payments to international organizations will affect Pakistan’s reputation and the individuals using paid applications.
فری گوگل ایپلی کیشنز کی سروسز برقرار رہیں گی. بین الاقوامی اداروں کو ادائیگی روکنے کا عمل پاکستان کی ساکھ متاثر کرسکتا ہے. پیڈ ایپلی کیشنز استعمال کرنے والے افراد و شہریوں کو شدید مشکلات کا سامنا کرنا پڑ سکتا ہے.” (سید امین الحق)#MOITT #googleplaystore #GooglePlay— Ministry of IT & Telecom (@MoitOfficial) November 26, 2022
State Bank of Pakistan Responds
Meanwhile State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has responded to the matter as well explaining the whole situation and further confirmed that Play Store is not going anywhere and will continue to work even after December 1, 2022.
Read more: SBP Rebuts Holding Payments to Google.