Apple gives up fight against alternative app payment systems in Korea

Apple gives up fight against alternative app payment systems in Korea


App Store will accept alternative payment systems
The App Store will accept alternative payment systems in South Korea.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has confirmed that it will allow developers to offer third-party payment systems for app purchases in South Korea, according to a new report.

The move comes after Korean regulators last August ruled that smartphone makers, including, could not force users to make purchases through their own app marketplaces exclusively. But Apple won’t give up its cut of revenues.

Apple will allow third-party payments in Korea

South Korea became the first country to implement a new law that bans Apple and Google from blocking app developers from accepting third-party payment systems. Since then, other countries, including the U.S., have followed suit.

While Apple is still fighting the change in the U.S., however, the company has backed down and confirmed that it will abide by the new rules set by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).

“We look forward to working with the KCC and our developer community on a solution that benefits our Korean users,” Apple told The Korea Herald.

“Apple has a great deal of respect for Korea’s laws and a strong history of collaboration with the country’s talented app developers. Our work will always be guided by keeping the App Store a safe and trusted place for our users.”

Apple will still take a cut

There is a catch. Although Apple won’t be able to justify its usual 15-30% cut (depending on the size of the developer) on payments made through the App Store, it does plan to take “a reduced service charge,” according to the report.

It’s not yet clear how much that cut will be, or how the company intends to claim it. Google, which vowed in November that it would follow South Korea’s new rules, has also confirmed that it will take a service charge.

Apple will likely continue fighting its case against third-party payment systems in other countries. But its decision to back down in Korea could suggest it’s more willing to consider third-party payment systems elsewhere in the future.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.