Apple removes apps from Russia’s largest social media company • The Register

Russian social media provider VK Company Ltd has confirmed that its apps have been removed from Apple’s App Store.

“Some VK applications are now blocked by Apple from being available for download or update on the App Store”, said (translated from Russian) the company formerly known as VKontakte.

VK assured users that installed apps will continue to work, but said notifications and payments could become difficult, although recently released core updates would keep the company afloat.

It suggested users of its most popular product, Facebook Analog VKontakte, could use the mobile or desktop version of the site.

“VK will continue to develop and support iOS apps,” the company said. The apps remain available in Google’s Play Store.

Corresponding state news agency TASSRussia’s digital affairs ministry contacted Apple to find out the reasons for the deletion, saying the company would receive a subsequent “plan of action.”

TASS too reported that the company sold its gaming division to businessman Alexander Chachava for $642 million on Tuesday. The division will continue to be managed by the previous management. Many other gambling systems are currently blocked in Russia thanks to sanctions.

VK’s share price fluctuated loudly on the Russian stock exchange this week state-sponsored media RTfell over 20 percent on Monday and rallied 7.5 percent on Tuesday.

The founders of VKontakte, brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, are also the founders of the messaging app Telegram.

Pavel Durov left VK as CEO after refusing to release Ukrainian protester data or block Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s VK page. He then went into exile and eventually obtained citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis, France and the United Arab Emirates.

The billionaire’s hobbies include posting shirtless pictures on Instagram and trolling Russian President Vladimir Putin. ® Apple removes apps from Russia’s largest social media company • The Register

Laura Coffey

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