Russia is still engaging in a reprehensible and illegal invasion of Ukraine and has become a pariah of the international community. Governments and companies around the world have abandoned Russia. Commercially, major brands ranging from Microsoft to Coca-Cola have stopped sales. Google chose its own punishment in Russia, including suspending all payments on Google Play Store.
In response, Russia is now tasking its developers with creating an alternative to the Google Play Store. Reports say the storefront is almost ready and will launch on May 9. That’s Russia’s Victory Day, the anniversary (and national holiday) celebrating the country’s victory over Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
“Unfortunately, Russians can no longer normally use Google Play to buy apps, and developers have lost their source of income,” says Vladimir Zykov, director of projects at Digital Platforms. “This is why we have created a Russian app shop, NashStore,” he adds.
Filling the Gap
NashStore means “OurStore” in English and will provide Android solutions for customers with payments in the country. It is unclear if the Russian government has involvement in NashStore or if this is an independent store.
Either way, it will fill the gap for developers who can no longer monetize on the Play Store.
Google sent an email to developers this month saying all billing methods on the store will close in Russia.
Russians are no longer able to install paid apps, make in-app purchases, or use any subscription apps. Essentially, people in Russia are now shut off from many major apps. Those that are free can still be downloaded.
In fact, Google says any paid app that is critical or has important information should be made free in Russia. While digital transactions are closing, Google says current subscriptions will be honored up to the end of the current billion period.
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