Russia is Launching its Own Version of Google Play Store

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Recent developments have revealed that Russian tech developers are building an alternative to Alphabet Inc’s Google Play Store, with plans of launching it on May 9th, a national holiday in Russia that celebrates the country’s victory in World War Two.

Earlier this month, YouTube, Apple, and Google Play had suspended all payment-based services in the country, including subscriptions, as Western sanctions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started to pose banking challenges in the country. According to Vladimir Zykov, director of projects at Digital Platforms, an organization focused on digital development:

Unfortunately, Russians can no longer normally use Google Play to buy apps and developers have lost their source of income. This is why we have created a Russian app shop, NashStore.

NashStore which translates into English as “OurStore”, will not only cater to Android mobile devices but will also be compatible with Russian Mir bank cards, which is a Russian payment system for electronic fund transfers established by the Central Bank of Russia.

Russia customarily holds a patriotic display of the country’s raw military power on May 9th with a promenade that passes through Moscow’s Red Square glorifying the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two.

Earlier this month, Google had blocked mobile apps connected to RT and Sputnik from Play Store, conforming with an earlier move to remove the Russian state publishers from its news-related features. Following this, Russia’s communications regulator blocked Google News in the country last week, accusing it of allowing access to what it calls “fake content” regarding the country’s military operation in Ukraine.

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