The Japanese government is working to implement new regulations that will require Apple and Google to allow users in the Asian country to install apps sourced from third-party sources.
Japan’s new regulations are similar to Europe’s Digital Markets Act, which will force the two companies to allow users to access third-party app stores on their platforms, while also allowing alternative payment systems to be used.
According to The Japan Times, Apple and Google will be required to allow users to download apps from sources other than their own app stores. The government hopes the new regulations will help stimulate competition and reduce app prices.
The government will also prevent the duo from showing favoritism towards their own services and payment platforms. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno headed the group that came up with the new legislation, which will be presented during an upcoming parliament session in 2024.
Both companies will also be required to make it easy to remove any pre-installed apps on their devices and must also not give preferential treatment to themselves within their search engines. (Apple doesn’t own a search engine like Google, they may be concerned about Apple’s local search feature, Spotlight.
Currently, Apple doesn’t allow users to sideload iOS apps. Although 97% of users install Android apps from the Google Play Store, Google does allow users to sideload apps.
Both companies will also be required to allow users to make payments via third-party platforms.