Google won’t offer paid apps or app updates to Russian users, but that’s not because the company wanted to exit the market, a report by Ars Technica said Monday (May 9).
A new support page, spotted by 9to5Google, states that Google Play is “blocking paid app downloads and paid app updates in Russia from May 5, 2022.”
Google says blocking paid apps is part of the tech giant’s ‘compliance efforts’, although after the big four credit card companies pulled out of Russia in March, Google can no longer offer paid apps .
The page states that users will not be able to purchase apps and games, make subscription payments, or buy anything in-app using Google Play. There will always be free apps available, and users of paid apps that have already been purchased can be downloaded and used. However, according to the page, subscriptions will not renew and will be cancelled.
Since Google handles credit card processing, it will still be able to issue payments to Russian developers.
The report noted Google’s blog post on what it did in Ukraine. However, its continued activities in Russia have made it an outlier among other big tech companies. This led to Google being accused by Forbes of being “the most Putin-compliant American tech censor”.
Many companies, including the big four credit card companies, left Russia because of its war in Ukraine.
See also: As advertising slows, Alphabet turns to Google Pay and races to generate additional revenue
PYMNTS wrote recently that Google has been struggling lately with its stock, which was down 3% on April 27 when the report came out. This made it one of many large companies to be punished for failing to meet expectations; for Google having to do with inflation and the war in Ukraine.
PYMNTS wrote that Alphabet is looking at digital payments more robustly, which means making Google Play “ubiquitous”.
CEO Sundar Pichai recently said, in response to a question about how payments can become a billion-user offering, that the company is “focused on making payments work well.”
“[O]Our payout strategy is very similar to the strategy we have for trading in general. We want to make all this work easier, both on the side of merchants and financial institutions, and make sure that they can communicate well with customers. »
He said that would mean the service works as well as possible for as many people as possible.