Google forced to end sales of Play Store apps in Russia, starting May 5, 2022


Google no longer offers paid apps or paid app updates to Russian users. Due to payment system disruption, Google Play is pausing its billing system for users in Russia from March 10, 2022, Google said. This means that users cannot purchase apps and games, or make subscription payments or in-app purchases of digital goods using Google Play in Russia. As part of our compliance efforts, Google Play is blocking the download of paid apps and paid app updates in Russia starting May 5, 2022, Google said in a post.

Many companies have voluntarily ceased operations in Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine, but Google makes it clear that it is not voluntarily ending payments in the country. Now Google says blocking paid apps is part of our compliance efforts. To help vital organizations involved in providing humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, including medical supplies, food aid, refugee support and assistance, Google offers free services to eligible organizations through Google Cloud credits.

To help people connect with friends and family during this time of emergency, we’re waiving international calling charges from Ukraine and from the U.S. to Ukraine on Google Fi, and we’re waiving call to Ukraine for people using Google Voice at the moment, says Google. We are in constant communication with governments in Europe and around the world in order to be able to work for the rapid implementation of their decisions, in particular by limiting the presence of Russian state-funded media on our platforms.

Google says users can’t buy apps and games, or make subscription payments or in-app purchases of digital goods using Google Play in Russia. Free apps will continue to be available, and paid apps you’ve already purchased can still be downloaded and used, but any purchases will now display an error message. Subscriptions cannot be renewed and will be cancelled. Since Google only cares about no credit card processing, it says payments to Russian developers will continue.

Google has blogged about its efforts to help Ukraine, but continuing to do business in Russia makes it an exception in the high-tech world. Microsoft, Apple, Intel and nearly 1,000 other companies have left Russia, while Google was accused of being the most Putin-compliant US tech censor in a recent Forbes article.

Microsoft denounces what it calls Russia’s tragic, illegal, and unjustified invasion of Ukraine and promises to continue to protect the country from cyberattacks and state-sponsored disinformation campaigns. All of us who work at Microsoft follow closely the tragic, illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. This war has become both kinetic and digital, with horrifying images coming from all over Ukraine as well as less visible cyber attacks on computer networks and disinformation campaigns on the Internet, says Brad Smith, President and Vice President at Microsoft in a blog post published on February 28.

It is important to note that we are a company and not a government or a country. At times like this, it is particularly important for us to work in consultation with governments, and in this case our efforts have involved constant and close coordination with the Ukrainian government, as well as with the European Union, European nations, the US government, NATO and the United Nations.

The software gauntlet added that it would support the humanitarian efforts of Ukrainians trying to repel the invasion of the Russian weapon and the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Ukraine to neighboring countries such as Poland, Romania and Moldova. Microsoft will work to protect its own employees in Ukraine, Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as those elsewhere who are of Ukrainian or Russian descent, we are told.

One of our primary global responsibilities as a company is to help defend governments and countries against cyberattacks,” Brad Smith wrote in the blog post outlining the company’s efforts. Rarely has this role been more important than over the past week in Ukraine, where the Ukrainian government and many other organizations and individuals are our clients.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation, was the first to announce the news on Telegram, noting that Apple had stopped selling its technology on the official online store in Russia. The measure is broader spectrum with Apple which indicates the cessation of the sale of all its products in Russia because of the country’s decision to initiate its military operation against Ukraine.

We have taken a number of steps in response to this Russian military operation against Ukraine. We have halted all product sales in Russia. Last week, we stopped all exports to our sales channel in the country. Apple Pay and other services have been restricted. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download on the App Store outside of Russia. “We have disabled live traffic and incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens,” the US tech giant says.

We are deeply concerned about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and we stand with all those who suffer from the violence. We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the ongoing refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region. We will continue to assess the situation and are in communication with the governments concerned on the measures we are taking. We join all those around the world who call for peace, he adds.

US chipmaker Intel announced that it had suspended all business operations in Russia, joining other tech companies that pulled out of the country due to the invasion of Ukraine. Intel had already suspended all deliveries to customers in Russia and Belarus last month after the US government imposed sweeping sanctions preventing the export of technology to those countries. With this announcement, Intel is ending all of its business operations in the country, which includes 1,200 employees located in Russia.

“Intel continues to join the global community in condemning Russia’s war on Ukraine and calling for a speedy return to peace,” Intel said in a press release. With immediate effect, we have suspended all business operations in Russia. This follows our earlier decision to suspend all deliveries to customers in Russia and Belarus.

Intel says it is working to support all of its Russian employees during the shutdown and has business continuity plans in place to minimize disruption. One of the reasons Google might be in line with Russia is that the country has one of the most competitive search markets in the world. Google Search ranks second in Russia, just behind the country’s largest tech company, Yandex. If Google leaves the country or gets kicked out, it risks losing the market entirely.

We are continuing our work to significantly limit global recommendations for a number of Russian state-sponsored media on our platforms. In Europe, we are removing Russian state-funded media apps from Google Play, beyond RT and Sputnik. As required by Council Regulation (EU) 2022/350, we have removed RT and Sputnik from our search results in the European Union.

Source: Google

And you?

What is your opinion on this Google measure?

Do you understand the slowness accused by Google to make this decision?

See as well :

US chipmaker Intel announced on Tuesday evening that it had suspended all business operations in Russia, after suspending all deliveries to the country last month.

Apple halts all product sales to Russia, halts exports and limits Apple Pay, in retaliation for launching Russian military operation in Ukraine

Microsoft: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is illegal and unjustified, company says it supports Ukrainian humanitarian efforts

Russia is developing an interoperable platform of supercomputers, to accelerate import substitution and dispense with foreign suppliers

Leave a Comment