Google wins lawsuit against Taipei government

Google wins lawsuit against Taipei government

Summary: The Taipei High Administrative Court rules against the city government's attempts to impose a NT$1 million fine on the search giant for limiting the time for mobile app refunds to just 15 minutes.


Google has won its lawsuit against the Taipei city government after a local court ruled the latter had no authority to ask the search giant to revise its terms of sales for mobile apps.

Central News Agency (CNA) reported Thursday the Taipei High Administrative Court, citing Taiwan's consumer protection law, issued the ruling saying the city government could not regulate, much less impose a fine on, Google's practice of allowing just 15 minutes to consumers to cancel an app purchase.

Taipei had imposed a NT$1 million on the search giant last June for its terms of sales, saying it contravened against the local law of allowing seven days to return a purchase. Google responded by blocking the sale of paid apps in the country.

The legal affairs department of the Taipei city government has vowed to appeal against the ruling and take its case to the Supreme Administrative Court, the report said.

An unnamed official from the legal department noted by denying the city government's powers to protect consumers, the court ruling might result in individuals suing Google separately, which is time-consuming and costly. The city government will continue to negotiate with the U.S. company to give local consumers a longer refund grace period, the source added.  

Topics: Apps, Google, Government Asia, Legal

Jamie Yap

About Jamie Yap

Jamie writes about technology, business and the most obvious intersection of the two that is software. Other variegated topics include--in one form or other--cloud, Web 2.0, apps, data, analytics, mobile, services, and the three Es: enterprises, executives and entrepreneurs. In a previous life, she was a writer covering a different but equally serious business called show business.

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  • 15min +/-

    I can understand 15min refund timer for mobile games, as typically they are not so long and good that you would like to play them after 24 hours, what was the earlier refund time.
    But again for many games have started to grow for hundreds of megabytes from 10MB, meaning that it takes hour or more to download.

    But for apps (games are not apps) 15min is WAY too short. It should at least be 3-5 hours to get good testing as you don't want get in car to buy a GPS navigation software to test it, but buy it on inside building and then later go to car test it.
  • Honestly, I'd prefer 7 days.

    Honestly, I'd prefer 7 days. What's wrong with 7 days? 15 minutes is barely enough to even get to know how to use the program, much less decide whether to keep it. It's way too short.
  • well done!

    I'm sure this frivolous lawsuit was instigated by apple and M$.
    The Linux Geek
  • Author should decide expiry period

    15 minute is way too short, particularly when despite what Google say it doesn't start once the app is fully downloaded. I had it expire on me BEFORE I had successfully even downloaded an application! The original day was fine. Other than that it should be up to the author to decide and declare on the play store. That way the user can choose whether they want to buy an app with one with a 15 min or 2 day expiry, all things being equal I know which one I'd buy.