Google Play blocks downloading and updating of paid apps in Russia starting May 5

Back in March, Google paused Google Play’s billing system for users in Russia. Google Play is now blocking the downloading of paid apps and updates to paid apps in Russia starting May 5, 2022.

While Top Free charts will still be available, Top Paid and Top Grossing charts in Russia are also disabled during this pause. Users will still be able to access paid apps and games that have already been downloaded or purchased but subscriptions will not be renewed and will be canceled after the end of the then-current billing period. 

Google offers two options for developers who want to extend their subscribers’ access to content knowing their payment will be declined. 

“First, you can extend the grace period for existing subscribers to access content after their billing period ends for up to 30 days in Play Console.

Second, you can defer a user’s renewal for as long as one year with the Google Play Developer API. The user will retain full access to the content but will not be charged during the deferral period. The subscription renewal date will be updated to reflect the new date.”

For developers who think that their apps provide a critical service that keeps them safe and provides access to information, the company suggests to offer their apps for free or to remove the paid subscription during this pause.

The company says developers can still publish new free apps, and update existing free apps but updates to paid apps are now blocked for compliance reasons. 

Google also says pausing Google Play transactions does not impact developer payouts. 

“ If you’re having issues receiving payments, we recommend you use an alternate payment method, such as an account from another bank or an eWallet that accepts payments. You can check for alternate payment methods by adding a new payment method to your account. We will hold your account balance until you are able to provide a valid payment method.”

Written by Jordan Bevan


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