Apple has removed Russia’s most popular social network from the App Store
VK, the Russian technological giant behind the social network VKontakte, which has hundreds of millions of downloads, has announced that its applications have been pulled from Apple’s App Store.
According to the translated statement, “certain VK apps have been prohibited by Apple,” but the company will “continue to create and maintain iOS applications.” The Russian Ministry of Digital Affairs is reviewing “the grounds for removing VK apps and developer accounts, highlighting the social relevance and extent of usage of the Russian company’s services.” The applications may still be found on Google’s Play Store.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian government has restricted access to many American social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Many Russian government-affiliated people and firms have been sanctioned by the US and other nations, including VK Group CEO and Putin friend Vladimir Kiriyenko. Pavel Durov founded VKontakte in 2006, but was ultimately fired, stating that there would be no turning back “once I openly refused to comply with the authorities.” They despise me.” He subsequently concentrated on Telegram, his encrypted messaging service.
Because Apple removed VK’s applications, Russian iPhone users no longer have access to the app for the country’s fifth most popular site, according to SimilarWeb, and other VK apps including Mail.ru, VK Music, and Youla classifieds. According to the Russian news agency Interfax, the applications may continue to function, but there may be difficulties with alerts and payments.
Interfax also reported on Tuesday that VK sold the assets of its gaming company, My. Games, to LETA Capital CEO Alexander Chachava, a Russian billionaire headquartered in the Cayman Islands, for $642 million. It will be administered by the same executives previously in charge, and VK had positioned it as a Russian alternative to Steam and Epic Games Store after sanctions prevented many digital game sales in the country.