Apple pulls VKontakte, Russia’s largest social network, from the App Store

Globally, Apple’s App Store has removed the iOS apps belonging to VK, the technology conglomerate behind Russia’s version of Facebook called VKontakte.

App Store

Mitchell Clark and Alex Heath for The Verge:

In a translated statement on its website, VK said that its apps “are blocked by Apple” but that it will “continue to develop and support iOS applications.” In response to an inquiry by The Verge, Apple spokesperson Adam Dema confirmed that VK’s apps have been removed and its developer accounts shut down.

“These apps are being distributed by developers majority-owned or majority-controlled by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government,” Dema said in a statement. “In order to comply with these sanctions, Apple terminated the developer accounts associated with these apps, and the apps cannot be downloaded from any App Store, regardless of location. Users who have already downloaded these apps may continue to use them.”

On Monday, the UK government enacted new sanctions on Russian oligarchs in response to sham referendums Russia recently held in parts of Ukraine. The sanctions affect 23 executives at Gazprombank, a Russian bank with ties to VK…

The VK apps are still available on Google’s Play Store.

MacDailyNews Take: Just when you thought nothing could possibly be worse than Facebook, you remember there’s a “Russian Facebook.”

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