Google, citing "ongoing challenges," will be ending the distribution of paid apps from Argentina in the Play Store effective June 27th, "at which point the apps will be unpublished."

Google's official statement on the issue (published on its Developer Support site) doesn't go into too much detail regarding the "ongoing challenges" involved in distributing paid apps from Argentina, and an email sent to developers (reported by Celularis) doesn't offer any more information, though both suggest that Argentine developers who are legally able to do business in another country transfer their applications to a merchant account registered in that country.

… If you are legally able to do business in one of the other supported countries and otherwise satisfy the Google Wallet Terms of Service for that country, you may register for a Google Wallet Merchant Center account in that country and transfer your applications to it. To review the Google Wallet Merchant Center account Terms of Service, go to this link:


You would need new Google Play Developer account to tie to your new Merchant account. To learn more about creating new Google Play Developer account and transferring your applications, please visit our Help Center at https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/answer/139626

A final payout to affected developers is planned for July 22nd.

Though Google may not be forthcoming in explaining exactly why it's ceasing payment, Reddit users explain that it may be due to governmental pressure, stemming from high inflation and currency depreciation, in response to which Argentina's government has – according to users -  restricted the flow of capital both into and out of the country.

Whatever the case, Google makes clear that it wants to be able to continue to do business in Argentina, saying "we realize this change will be painful, and will continue exploring ways to resume funding Argentine developers."

Via: The Verge, Celularis, Reddit, Google

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • timrcm

    ...and all 3 people with smartphones in Argentina wept that night.

    • Fernando Rodríguez Herrera

      Go home, racist. You're drunk.

      • timrcm

        What was racist about that statement? Maybe you need to look up the definition of that word:


        Web definitions

        a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others.

        What did I say about the race of people living there? It's mostly Spanish/Italian people, by the way. I have nothing against either of them. That doesn't stop it from being an underdeveloped COUNTRY. Are you going to call me 'countryist' for stating a fact?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          While you are right about the definition of "racist" and that your comment has nothing to do with racism, you are also misunderstanding the problem.

          It's not that people with smartphones won't be able to buy apps, it's developers no longer able to distribute paid ones. Imagine if an Argentine developer made your favorite app or a popular app that was downloaded by many people around the world. Such a developer will now be forced to either pull the app, make it free, or migrate to a different country. See the difference?

          And besides, I think you are vastly underestimating how many people own smartphones in developing countries. You'd be surprised.

          • lljktechnogeek

            I'm pretty sure smartphone usage is the most dominant form of Internet access in developing nations, even. (If I recall correctly, the reasons largely revolve around the difficulty of maintaining a cellular infrastructure versus traditional wired broadband.)

      • patapongirl

        Racist is definitely one of the most abused words in the English language

      • Cuvis

        I wouldn't say it's a racist statement. Ignorant, yes. Prejudiced, yes. But Argentinian is not a race, so it's technically not racist.

    • Lendrogh

      3 out of 10 is more accurate. If not more.

      • bse88
        • Lendrogh

          "Supera a México -20 por ciento- y a Brasil -14 por ciento- y es el país de mayor penetración en la región."

          Argentina 24%, Mexico 20% and Brasil 14%. Not only was I close to the real number, also Argentina is the country with more Smartphones per capita in South America according to that. And before you say anything wrong, Argetina has a population of 40.000.000.

          Btw, with 3 out of 10, I meant 30%, just in case :P

          • Nick_Lopez_Loya

            Yeah, I don't think so. I've heard them all "Argentinians have the longest, thickest dicks in South America", "Argentinians have the biggest economy in south America", "Argentinians are the most gifted, supernatural soccer players"... No. Stop it. Argentina sucks ass.
            I'm Mexican, so I can say that, without being racist.

          • Lendrogh

            Im Argentinian and I dont say any o those things, especially the one about the biggest economy.

      • neavilag
    • Mike Reid

      Doesn't matter if there are zero smart-phones there.

      What IMO matters most is that some customers WORLD-WIDE could end up getting screwed if/when Google "un-publishes" the apps.

      And further, some Argentine devs may lose their livelihood.

      Why can't Google continue to at least serve old pre-existing customers, even if they cut off purchases for new customers ?

      And why can't Google tell us exactly what the problem is ?

      IMO Google does not care sufficiently about their customers and the devs who serve them.

      • Zk

        Can't understand why people is still saying there aren't smartphones in Argentina.
        I live in Argentina and own a smartphone as a lot of people here (we're getting the Galaxy S4 next month). I think people really don't know anything about Argentina.

        On the other hand, I am pretty sure Google did everything it could. We are having lot of problems with our own goverment, Specially related to foreign currency. In Argentina we are not free to exchange our Argentinean pesos to US dollars freely.
        We have to ask for permission to the goverment and most of the time you are denied the posibility, even if you're planning to travel outside the country.

      • Babs Oyed

        When people vote idiots into power there's always a price to pay.

        • Guest

          *When governments pay idiots there's always a price to pay

    • Alan Shearer

      ignorant idiot. Smartphone use in argentina, especially android phones, is at 80% penetration.

      • timrcm

        Angry much? Another angry gentleman below you claims 24%, which is a much more believable number. Ever heard of a joke?

        And no, I don't care who my joke(s) offend. I know nothing about Argentina, and don't care to learn anything about Argentina as I never plan on visiting Argentina during my lifetime. Any questions?

        • Guest

          I'm such a troll

        • Alan Shearer

          angry not at all to be honest. world is full of ignorance. I look no further than a good quantity of argentinians (though many US citizens are also dumb and dumber). Why would you not want to learn about another culture? I never planned to visit, and yet here I am living and working due to my job. Never in my life though I would live in this country, even if for a little while. Life will throw you unexpected turns, once you learn to expect the unexpected, life is grand.

        • mehim

          go back to /int/.

        • Nick_Lopez_Loya

          Not to add to the flame war, but most of the US, specially the midwest do not have smartphones. Bigger cities do. And, of those with smartphones, most are shitty low-end Android phones I'm sure.

        • ari_free

          You should care especially since the US wants to be more like Argentina than the other way around

    • Mauro Julián Fernández

      Get the fuck off idiot, I'm argentinian and what the fuck is your problem?

      • timrcm

        I don't have a problem, I just don't really care about anything having to do with or happening in Argentina. I will never care about Argentina, because I use nothing from Argentina and never plan to visit Argentina. I don't mean that as an insult, I just mean to say that... I don't care. That's okay though - this story is Play Store relevant, thus it should be posted on this site. There's plenty of articles here that I love and care about!

        Maybe you don't care about America? Kazakhstan? Georgia? Where I ate dinner yesterday? Is it a crime or an insult to not care about somewhere?

        • Guest

          Hmm, the entire world but America explodes? I'm not going anywhere, so, why should I care?
          (I don't encourage Mauro, he was wrong) I don't like stereotypes but I have seen a lot of Americans that give a fuck in the entire world, believing they are superior for being in a first world country.

          • timrcm

            It'd suck if Europe, Australia... well, a lot of places exploded. But Argentina isn't high up on my list. Hell, it'd suck if they EXPLODED still, I'm not a huge fan of a needless loss of life. But do I care about what their government is doing with the currency? Not in the least.

          • Guest

            There are plenty of articles and on AP or other pages to entertain you, don't worry :)

          • Guest

            and comments*

          • timrcm

            I know. I just saw this and posted my OP in jest. I didn't think it'd blow up, but it has provided a few laughs over the afternoon, so that's always great.

    • http://blog.cocchiararo.com.ar/ Roberto

      Most people have smartphones now... but this does not affect most people, we can still buy apps, only those who were SELLING them are screwed. (i was planning to, but oh well...)

    • ari_free

      Don't cry for me Argentina?

  • Damn Cristina

    Who-hoo! Just when I start thinking the government can't screw more things up, it screws app developers!

    • Damn Cristina

      scews up, sorrry

    • http://twitter.com/RvLeshrac RvLeshrac

      Indeed. I mean, Google doesn't do any business with repressive governments which have extremely onerous requirements, such as transferring all copyrights and patents to a citizen-owned subsidiary, like China or anything.

  • CJ Holder

    First no Falklands now no Google Play for their developers. I feel sorry for them.

  • Alan Shearer

    This is because our awesome president is an idiot. She thinks, oh, inflation, hmm, to stop it we should restrict imports. She studied in the school of dumbasses. Hope she is either kicked out of the presidenciency or unable to be relected!!

  • zero

    uops, google has become officially evil

    • Mauro Julián Fernández

      It's not Googles fault, it's because of the stupid government we have, Google has problems importing money to our country thats because they stopped paying us.

      • Guest

        It's not because of the government. Google didn't find Argentina profitable to enable Wallet or AdSense. There aren't many developers, like in Brazil or Mexico.

        • Michael Parker

          False. Read comments above as to the draconic laws that make paying developers easy or possible. You can buy all the apps you want still.

      • http://twitter.com/LV2355 Laurentiu

        "Don't be evil!" is just a saying which does not apply in real world. I know this from my experience with Google. Long story - droid replies.
        If you are a developer you'll know what I mean.

        So, "It's not Googles fault" can be far from the truth...

        • Michael Parker

          Except, it isnt in this case. It became next to impossible for google to pay its developers in Argentina due to new draconic laws enacted there. Go munch on that tinfoil hat.

  • Edu Pimentel

    In case someone does not understand what is going on here:
    The Argentine government hast dropped the ball the last 10 years (since a big crisis in 2001) and has been primarily focusing on populist projects: giving money to people who don't do any work, paying unemployed mothers an allowance per child she has (the more children - they don't care if these end up on the streets or not - the more money that mother earns) and several other measures such as removing about 200 million Argentine Pesos (5o million dollars) from education to having football (soccer) matches be transmitted in public TV (doesn't the roman "bread and circus" policy to stray away public concern of more important things come to mind?). Now there's much debate whether this government steals money or not, and the effectiveness of these populist measures to fix the main problem in the country - inflation - will actually work or not. I have my own opinion but will keep it to myself. However it is true that due to this inflation, the Argentine Peso is plummeting, and the government doesn't have any idea how to stop this from happening. Their kne-jerk reaction was to prohibit citizens from buying dollars to safeguard their earnings and savings. But the Argentine people are not stupid and soon found ways to do this: buying dollars in other countries, buying things online via credit card and etc. As such, this has generated a black market of dollars, one that values almost twice as much as the unattainable official dollar. This basically means that if you COULD walk into a bank and buy dollars, today you'd have to pay 5.25 ARS for every USD. In the blackmarket, you have to pay almost 9.70 ARS for every USD. However this market stands because people are so desperate to buy dollars, they will actually buy them at this rate, fearing their savings will become worthless. The government doesn't seem to notice this is actually just hurting more the economy than fixing it, and thus instead of fixing inflation, all it does is put more prohibitions in place so people cannot get their money out of the country (aka. buy dollars). So while this piece of news accuses Google of withdrawing payments to Argentine developers, in fact, the truth is it is probably the government that has pushed Google not to pay developers in US Dollars. Although I don't know the internals of the situation, this probably has generated some unrest, and as such, Google probably pulled out in order not to get caught in the crossfire.

    • basteagow

      Best comment so far.

    • Fran.

      This post is full of lies, i don't know if you are Argentino, but you are really missing a lot of information.
      The money given to mothers for each children, is almost enough for the dipers and milk for a baby, so it's not good for anybody to have a children for this. Also, to get the money, the kid MUST go to the school and have all the vaccines. This have increased the amount of children going to the school by a 25% and decreased the mortality of children under 2 years to the lowest in Latin America.
      About the money for education, this goverment increased a lot the public spending in education, they have built 1000 schools and the spending for education is 6.1% of the PIB, more than USA (5.5) and Brazil (5.1)
      Goverment stealing money: I agree with you here and i think it's our most important problem in Argentina, now, is Argentina the only country with corruption? Something to think about.
      Inflation it's another problem, but wages increase at almost the same rate (somthing that did not happened in the States in the period 1980-present) and developers could increase the prize of the apps and problem solved. Or google could sell the apps in dollars like in the apple's appstore.

      • Edu Pimentel

        CyberKK Fran,

        It's sorry to think that the level of brainwashing this government has done to people such as yourself. Although it is true that there have been improvements over the years in certain aspects of daily life; those that in return have impoverished far outweigh any positive aspect of the prior. Any money given to sustain children in incapable households is a farce. In this regard, Europe/US have a much more decisive and positive measure (for society as a whole and for the children): Child Protection Services. If a household cannot afford to give children their necessities, CPS will force you to resign care of that child. And while the money to sustain that child is still being invested, the government ensures that this money is given to children and not to their uneducated parents. This is a proven solution as it forces the government to invest in the children (no government wants to be responsible for the death of children under their care) and it does not give money to parents (who shouldn't have those children in the first place). The CFK administration should be offering chemical castration methods before any other "help". You sir, are a part of a retrograde mentality that believes numbers can make up for the damage caused in people's daily lives. It does not matter how many schools they have built, if the quality of those schools are sub-par to even the most precarious schools found in other countries.

        Enough wasted time - enough wasted words.

  • http://blog.cocchiararo.com.ar/ Roberto

    It seems google did not want to keep paying Argentina's developers through ADSENSE (we never got paid directly through wallet, dunno why, government mostly sure).

    We were the only counttry that was getting paid with that "trick".

    Dunno what changed that made them forsake us.

    They should have NEVER picked us up if they were not commited to keep us in...

    • Michael Parker

      You say the main reason why you were shafted and still blame google. Your government made it next to impossible for google to pay you. Read the comments above you ignorant idiot.

      • http://blog.cocchiararo.com.ar/ Roberto

        Why are you so angry?

        I blame my government for stopping google from doing direct payments through google wallet.

        But i still think that if they decided to make their play store an option for people to live from (as a job), they should have kept doing it. Its not like they did it for a few months only...

        I would LOVE to see how you react/think if you get "fired" with an email like that :P

        There was no change that made them unable to keep paying us using Adsense (in fact, we can still get paid with that, they just removed the playstore part, that was specially made for our country).

        Maybe you are too sensitive or something... i still love google, i just don't like what they did here (and i still hope that it is just a political maneuver to convince our idiotic government to allow direct wallet payments...)

        You DO know that we can't legaly buy U$S (or other foreing currency), or send money to another countries... but getting payed from outside, as long as we pay all the related taxes, is not an issue, right ? i mean... as foolish as our government is... if we get payed in foreing currency...

  • OrigoTerra

    OrigoTerra will be happy to help any foreign Google App developers set up shop in the US and get paid through us for their work for a small fee. Contact us at: http://en.origoterra.com/contact-us/