Google is blocking users in Russia from buying or updating paid apps as the effects of the country’s invasion of Ukraine continue.
The company paused charging for Russian consumers on March 10, 2022 due to sanctions imposed on the country. This decision affected new app purchases, as well as in-app purchases and subscription payments.
However, Google already has updated its policy and says it “blocks the download of paid apps and updates to paid apps in Russia from May 5, 2022.”
The reason for the policy change is “compliance efforts”.
Users still have access to all paid apps that have already been downloaded. Free apps aren’t affected by policy changes, and users can still download and update them as usual. Google is currently disabling the highest paid and highest revenue rankings, but the freest will still be available.
All existing subscriptions will continue to be available until the end of their current billing period. However, the subscription will not be renewable.
Developers may choose to extend the grace periods for existing subscribers to access content after their billing period has expired for up to 30 days in the Play Console. For longer periods, developers can delay the renewal of the user for up to a year with Google Play Developer API.
New free apps may continue to be published in Russia, as well as updates, but all paid applications are banned due to current sanctions.
In response to a theoretical question about what to do if an app offers a critical service to users that protects them and provides access to information, Google says: “If you wish, you can choose to offer your app for free or remove your paid subscription at on this break. “
Until Russian troops leave Ukraine and sanctions are lifted, Android developers should not expect additional revenue from consumers in Russia.
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