The war between Russia and Ukraine has drawn a lot of attention and criticism, with several countries around the world condemning Russia for their actions and levying sanctions against them. Many companies have also followed suit, choosing to suspend their services in the country or in some cases, going as far as pulling out.
Google is one of those companies who have recently suspended all payment-based services in Russia, and as a result, Russians trying to access the Play Store to purchase apps or make in-app purchases or subscribe to services will no longer be possible (for now). In response, Russian developers have decided to just create their own app store alternative.
The app store in question is called NashStore which apparently translates to “OurStore” and will serve up Android apps while being compatible with Russian Mir bank cards. The store is expected to launch on the 9th of May, also known as Victory Day. According to Vladimir Zykov, director of projects at Digital Platforms, the organization behind the initiative:
“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.”
Russia isn’t alone in trying to create their own app store alternative. A couple of years ago when Huawei faced sanctions in the US and lost access to Google’s services, they decided to create their own app store called the Huawei AppGallery. They also eventually developed an alternative to Android called HarmonyOS.