Russia has removed all iOS apps from VK, the second largest tech company in Russia. The edge has called. This includes not only the VK social media app, which is the 5th most popular in Russia, but also others like Mail.ru and VK Music. The move came in response to British sanctions against the Russian government.
According to a press release (translated by Google), VK confirmed that “some VK applications are blocked by Apple, making them unavailable for download and updating in the App Store”. “Your core functionality will be familiar and stable… [but] there may be difficulties with notifications and payments. VK will continue to develop and support applications for iOS.”
These apps are distributed by developers who are majority owned or controlled by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government. To comply with these sanctions, Apple has terminated the developer accounts associated with these apps and the apps cannot be downloaded from any app store regardless of location.
Apple confirmed that it has removed the apps and closed VK’s developer accounts. “These apps are distributed by developers who are majority owned or controlled by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government,” a spokesman said The edge. “In order to comply with these sanctions, Apple has terminated the developer accounts associated with these apps, and the apps cannot be downloaded from any app store, regardless of location. Users who have already downloaded these apps can continue to use them.”
Earlier this week, the British government imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs over mock referendums held in Ukraine. Also on the list are executives from Gazprombank, a Russian bank with ties to VK. “Today’s sanctions will target those behind these bogus votes and those who continue to support the Russian regime’s war of aggression,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.
Russia’s Ministry of Digital Affairs told state media site RT that it is investigating the reasons for the removal. The apps are still available on Google Play – Engadget has reached out to Google to see if it plans to follow Apple’s lead.
Earlier this year, Apple halted sales of all of its products in Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine, while restricting Apple Pay and pulling apps from outlets like RT and Sputnik. A Russian law came into effect last year, obliging Samsung, Apple and other manufacturers to preinstall Russian apps like VK and Yandex on devices sold there.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team independently from our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may receive an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at time of publication.
https://www.engadget.com/apple-removes-russian-social-media-vk-from-app-store-094550208.html?src=rss Apple pulls Russia’s biggest social media network from the App Store