Russian developers are developing an alternative to the Play Store, the Android application store closed in Russia by Google’s decision. Called Nashstore, this alternative wants to allow developers to circumvent sanctions.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many Western companies made the decision to withdraw from the Russian market. Giants like Amazon, Sony and Google have stopped selling their products on Russian territory. De facto, the Play Store, the Android application store preinstalled on most smartphones, is closed.
Currently, Russians cannot buy Android apps from the Play Store or make transactions through the online store. All subscriptions taken out by Russian Internet users are temporarily blocked. In reaction, Russian developers plan to launch an alternative to the Play Storereport our colleagues from Reuters.
Russia will be entitled to an alternative to the Play Store
Digital Platforms, a Russian organization focused on digital development, announced the arrival of a alternative app store called NashStore. In the Russian language, “Nashstore” means “our store”. This initiative aims to circumvent the restrictions put in place by the digital giants based in the United States.
“Russians can no longer use Google Play to buy apps and developers have lost their source of income”, regrets Vladimir Zykov, director of projects at Digital Platforms. Developed for Android devices, the store will be compatible with Russian bank cards which are based on the Mir network, which is managed by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Internet users will again be able to buy apps and subscribe to subscriptions.
This store is open to all developers. “Anyone can apply for the inclusion of their software in NashStore through the official website NashStore.ru”explains the manager, who ensures that “more than 700 companies cooperate” in the development of the store.
This alternative platform should be unveiled on May 9, 2022 during a Russian national holiday. On this day, the Russian people celebrate the victory of the Second World War, with in particular a military parade which crosses the Red Square of Moscow.
Note that this is not the only Russian alternative born out of Western sanctions. Following the Instagram ban, developers launched Rossgrama photo-sharing app that works similarly.