Google Play Store, YouTube suspend payment-based services in Russia

Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube and Google Play Store in Russia are suspending all payment-based services, including subscriptions, as Western sanctions begin to create banking challenges in the country.

Google and YouTube have recently stopped selling online ads in Russia, following a similar break with Twitter and Snap following the Moscow invasion of Ukraine.

“As a follow-up, we are now extending this break to all of our monetization features, including YouTube Premium, Channel Membership, Super Chat and Merchandise, for Russian viewers,” YouTube said in a statement on Thursday.

Russia’s YouTube channels will still be able to monetize viewers outside of Russia through advertising and paid features, including super chat and product sales. Free apps on Google Play are also available in Russia, according to a company support website.

Google has previously stated that it has blocked mobile apps linked to RT and Sputnik from its Play Store, in line with previous moves to remove Russian state publishers from its news-related features.

In recent days, a number of technology companies have limited distribution and advertising equipment in Russian news outlets because the European Commission has banned them for spreading misinformation about the war in Ukraine.

Apple said last week that RT News and Sputnik News were no longer available for download from its App Store outside Russia.

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