Every week we’ll be bringing you the highlights of Iran’s tech scene in the past week. This week, we covered Google blocking IR domains from accessing its Map services, online businesses in Iran reaching to over 32k and the Government’s budget increase after the implementation of the mobile registry scheme.
Google Blocks Iranian Businesses from Accessing its Map Services
On June 8th, a number of Iranian online businesses reported that they have been banned from using Google Maps Services. After investigating the situation, we found out that Google has blocked the IR domains which use Google Maps’ API.
The reason behind this ban seems to be the new changes made in Google’s pricing and billing. According to the website of Google Maps Platform, starting July 16, 2018, a new pay as you go pricing plan will go into effect for Maps, Routes, and Places. On the website it says, “This new plan gives you more flexibility and control over how you use our APIs: You can use as much or as little as you need and only pay for what you use each month. We would also like to highlight that beginning July 16th, we are changing the pricing for our Maps, Routes, and Places products.”
Google Maps is still available for the end users in Iran but with limited features, including the voice navigation. Many of the Google’s services are blocked in Iran. Stay tuned for TechRasa’s report on this matter.
32 Thousand Online Businesses in Iran
According to the spokesman for the Internet Business Association in Iran, there are 32 thousand registered online businesses in the country, and another 18 thousand are in the confirmation process, as reported by Tasnim News. According to this spokesman, only 1 percent of the country’s retail market is online, while for Turkey this number is 3 percent, for China 13 to 15 percent and for the US and UK, it’s 6 to 8 percent.
He added that there are problems with the developments of Internet businesses in the body of the government and more support should be given to these companies. Online businesses in Iran are struggling due to the pressures by the US sanctions and also the Internet censorship in the country.
Mobile Registry Scheme has Brought in $400 Million for the Government
According to ITmen, During a visit to Tehran University’s Science and Tech Park, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Iran’s ICT Minister, stated that with the recent infrastructure developments, Iran’s ICT market is valued at 35 thousand billion Tomans, of which 5 thousand billion Tomans are injected into the state treasury, which is one of the budget resources of the government.
He added that the recent registry scheme which has put a stop to the mobile smuggling into the country and has increased the government’s yearly revenue by $400 million.