Google faces second fine over Taiwanese Android app refunds

Google faces second fine over Taiwanese Android app refunds

Google has yet to issue a formal response to the Taipei City Government after officials requested that the search giant amend its app refund policy, meaning Google could be issued with a fine of NT$1 million (US$34,480), its second within three weeks.

Google was warned it could face a fine of at least NT$300,000 (S$12810) from the Taipei City Government back in June, after Smartphone users in the city had complained that they were unable to claim a refund if they deemed an app download as unsatisfactory.

Taipei’s Law and Regulation Commission informed Google Taiwan, as well as Apple Asia, of the complaints in a formal letter, demanding an explanation and an outline of improvements by a June 23 deadline. Apple Asia responded before the deadline and amended its refund policy to comply with Taiwan’s by extending its trial period from 15 minutes to a full seven days. Google did not reply.

Google received its first fine of NT$1 million for failing to heed the warning and subsequently pulled paid Android downloads in the country – and remain unavailable today.

Following the ban, Taipei City Government officials met with Google’s policy counsel Kenneth Carter to discuss the matter, exchanging “full and extensive exchange of opinions”. Google was said to be thoroughly understanding of Taiwan’s Consumer Protection Act and rules requiring seven-day trial periods for online sales and was given two weeks to negotiate with officials on the matter.

On Friday, Google said via its lawyer that it would not to follow Taiwan’s consumer protection law to amend the terms of service on the Android Market. Taipei City Government officials have given Google another two weeks to deliberate its decision, allowing them to communicate with the search giant to resolve the issue amicably.

If a decision cannot be made, Google will be issued a second NT$1 million fine.

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