Russia is facing an unprecedented level of digital and economic isolation as many tech and financial companies pull out of the country. To adjust to its new situation, an organisation called Digital Platforms has announced that it will be launching an alternative app store called NashStore on 9 May, the country’s Victory Day.
The new platform’s name translates to “OurStore”. It’s meant to replace the Google Play Store after it recently announced that users will no longer be able to pay for any apps, subscriptions, or online purchases following the exit announcements by Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal.
“Unfortunately, Russians can no longer normally use Google Play to buy apps and developers have lost their source of income,” said Vladimir Zykov, director of projects at Digital Platforms. NashStore will serve Android mobile devices and should ultimately be compatible with Russian Mir bank cards, according to a statement by the organisation.
Aside from a new app store, Russian developers are also planning to launch an Instagram alternative called Rossgram after the former was banned in the country. The country has also banned Facebook and Twitter in retaliation for the blocking of its own state media, leaving most Russians cut off from the global social media platforms.