Google Play Store won’t let you pay to use Russian apps any more

The war in Ukraine will soon stop Russia android developers to get paid for their work. As part of the Western sanction effort, users will no longer be able to pay for commercial Android apps created by Russian developers, or update those apps, Google said.

In an announcement posted on the Play Console website, Google noted that as part of its “compliance efforts”, Google Play will block paid app downloads and paid app updates in Russia from of May 5, 2022.

Free apps are exempt from this rule, meaning users will still be able to download and update them. Commercial apps, however, will be automatically blocked, Google said.

Tougher penalties for invasion

In the accompanying FAQ, the company says developers can still download and use their commercial apps, offering grace periods and free trials to new users. Deferring renewals for up to a year is also an option, according to Google, as this will allow users to continue using the apps without being charged.

“If you want, you can choose to offer your app for free or remove your paid subscription during this break,” Google says.

The move comes exactly two months after Google suspended its Google Play billing system in the country. On March 10, it blocked people from buying apps, paying for subscriptions or making in-app purchases, under sanctions imposed by the West.

About two weeks later, Russia responded by banning Google News in the country and blocking access to “news.google.com”.

Western countries have imposed strong sanctions on Russia for its invasion of its southwestern neighbor Ukraine. The country’s banks have been banned from the SWIFT payment network, as well as services like Apple Pay or Google Pay. Most of the biggest tech companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and many others, have since pulled out of the country.

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