Apple has removed VKontakte, one of the leading Russian social media platforms, from its app store, according to the app’s developer.
Apple’s decision also affects other iOS apps produced by VKontakte’s parent tech giant VK, according to a blog post Tuesday for the company.
“Some VK apps are now blocked by Apple, so they are not available for download and update on the App Store,” VK wrote in the blog post. Existing installations of those apps should continue to function normally, VK added.
VK apps provide a range of services including email, food delivery, and digital payments. It is the fifth largest website by traffic in Russia, according to some estimates. The company’s social network has 97 million monthly users worldwide, while its email service, Mail.ru, has 46 million users in Russia.
the edge He was the first to break the news.
Apple confirmed the removals to CNN Business, saying the decision is aimed at complying with recently imposed UK sanctions against Russia. The UK government on Monday said was targeting dozens of Russian elites in response to Russia’s “illegal fake referendums in Ukraine” that purported to show support for Ukraine’s integration with Russia.
Apple said the apps were removed from developers that are majority owned or controlled by entities sanctioned by the UK government. Apple said it has terminated these developer accounts to comply with UK sanctions.
Earlier this year, in response to the war in Ukraine, Apple stopped selling new products in Russia, clamped down on Apple Pay, and removed state-backed media outlets RT and Sputnik from their app stores outside of Russia.