After blocking in-app purchases and subscriptions on Android in March, now Google gave the stop also to downloads and updates on Google Play in Russia for paid apps. In this way, only totally free apps will remain accessible for Russian citizens.
Google Play, stop to paid apps in Russia
On March 10, Google Play had stopped in-app purchases and subscriptions in Russia. A decision arrived to comply with sanctions commissioned in Moscow dfter the invasion of Ukraine. However, users could still access previously downloaded or previously purchased apps.
From May 5th, however, Google Play prevents from download paid apps already purchased and does not allow updates. In a post in the support section in which he answers several questions on the subject, Google explains that this decision is part “Compliance efforts” to comply with the sanctions.
Google has explained to developers that they can however keep publishing new free apps and updating existing free apps. And he recommends that developers who want to stay on the platform in Russia postpone payments, which is possible for a year. Or di remove subscriptions or purchases “during the break”, making applications free until the end of the penalties.
This suggestion comes mostly for “apps that provide a service that keeps people safe and provides access to information.” But it remains to be seen which developers will have the ability and willingness to apply the changes. The most likely outcome is that a lot of paid apps will just stop their activity in Russia, until the sanctions are lifted.
The situation, however, as Google itself explains, “is evolving rapidly”. We will keep you posted.