Google is halting billing on its mobile app store Google Play and payment-based services for YouTube users in Russia, citing “payment system disruption” caused by Western sanctions against Russian banks.
The news, first reported by Reuters, came in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the hastily imposed sanctions on Russian banks as the West chose an economic reaction to Putin’s assault in Europe.
Google acknowledged the Play payment suspension in a support letter on its Android developer website, writing:
Google also added a disclaimer about “recently enforced international restrictions for Play developers,” saying:
“We’re dedicated to following all applicable sanctions and trade compliance regulations, and we’re keeping an eye on the latest guidelines.” Users in the impacted locations will be able to access Google Play to get free apps but will not be able to make purchases.”
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According to the FAQ, existing memberships in sanctioned regions will be canceled after the billing cycle.
A YouTube spokeswoman acknowledged the “halt” on payment-based services in Russia in a statement:
“All Google and YouTube ads in Russia were suddenly halted.” As a result, we’ve extended this delay to all of our monetization tools for Russian viewers, including YouTube Premium, Channel Memberships, Super Chat, and Merchandise.”
The new restrictions on Google’s services in Russia go beyond what had been declared earlier.
The business announced a suspension of its ad sales in Russia on Friday. At the same time, it did not completely cut off ad sales to Russians, claiming at the time that it would continue to allow companies in the nation to buy advertising delivered outside Russia.
Other internet titans, such as Apple, Airbnb, and Microsoft, have taken similar actions in recent days to halt sales and activities in Russia, joining a rising list of multinationals boycotting or withdrawing from the country in protest of Putin’s conflict in Ukraine.