September 25, 2022
Google Play Store, YouTube suspend payment-based services in Russia

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

Google and YouTube recently stopped selling online ads in Russia after similar pauses by Twitter and Snap following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“As a follow-up, we are now extending this pause to all of our monetization features, including YouTube Premium, channel subscriptions, Super Chat and merchandise, for viewers in Russia,” YouTube said in a statement on Thursday.

YouTube channels in Russia will still be able to earn revenue from viewers outside of Russia through ads and paid features, including Super Chat and merchandising sales. According to the company support website, free apps are also available on Google Play in Russia.

Google previously said it blocked RT and Sputnik-linked mobile apps from its Play Store, in line with an earlier move to remove Russian state publishers from its news-related features.

Several tech companies have limited distribution and advertising equipment to Russian news outlets in recent days after the European Commission banned them over concerns that they were 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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