Google Play Store services will not be available in Pakistan starting from December 1 as the State Bank of Pakistan has suspended the direct carried billing mechanism, thus effectively refusing to pay the service provider.
Tech giants like Google, Amazon, Apple and Meta are being impacted by non-payments from Pakistan, which owes $34 million to international service providers. Faced with this difficulty, the service providers might be forced to discontinue their services altogether.
Google Play Store, a digital distribution service owned and run by Google, will suspend its services to Pakistani users starting in December. Users will now have to use their bank cards to avail of services and most won’t be able to do so due to the limited availability of credit card facilities.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the telecom ministry and the cellular service operators have approached the State Bank of Pakistan for the revocation of the step, arguing that it would hurt the users.
“It is pertinent to mention here that we all understand the prevailing challenge of worsening economic conditions of the country and thus are open to working in an amicable way with the Regulator (SBP); as we are already working with them in case of the telecom sector imports related transactions to navigate through these testing times,” said the letter sent by the telcos to the SBP.