In Russia, Google suspends access to paid apps on the Play Store

If Russian citizens can still enjoy free applications on the Google Play Store, this is no longer the case for paid applications. Even updates to apps already installed will be blocked.

Google is tightening its policy in Russia, or at least complying with the evolution of Western sanctions against the backdrop of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The firm had suspended its billing system for users located in Russia on March 10, 2022, preventing Russians from“use Google Play in Russia to buy apps or games, pay for subscriptions, or use in-app purchases to get digital goods”. For the past few days, Google has been preventing Russian users and developers from downloading or updating paid apps from the Play Store. Concretely, all updates of paid applications that you already have will be automatically blocked.

“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”, the company said, in an update to its support page. Russian developers can still publish and update free apps, while users are still allowed to download them from the store.

Google advises developers to allow “grace periods” for billing subscriptions, as well as free trials. “You have two choicesexplains Google to the developers. You can extend the grace period in Play Console for up to 30 days to allow existing subscribers to access content after their billing period ends. Alternatively, you can defer renewing a user’s subscription for up to one year. The user will retain full access to the content, but it will not be charged during the deferral period.”.

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