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Apple pulls Russian state-owned media outlets RT and Sputnik from global App Stores – TechCrunch

After days of assembly print on tech companies to take further action against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, Apple today Confirmed It will remove Kremlin-based media companies Russia Today (RT News) and Sputnik News from the App Store in all markets outside of Russia itself. The changes follow other actions against these two state-owned media companies both in the EU and worldwide.

In the last few days, Microsoft forbidden RT from its Windows App Store and has de-ranked both news sources on its Bing search engine. Google forbidden the RT News app in Ukraine at the request of the government in Kyiv. roku forbidden RT from its streaming platform. Twitter starred tweets from the media with warnings and de-ranked their tweets. Facebook restricted access to the websites, making them unavailable in the EU, as is TikTok. And Google also removed her from YouTube.

Apple’s move to remove RT News and Sputnik News from its global app stores follows a request from Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is urging Apple to stop selling devices in Russia and completely block access to the App Store.

According to data provided to TechCrunch by app intelligence firms Sensor Tower and Apptopia, the two Russian media apps had millions of lifetime downloads and were live in global markets as of yesterday.

In the US App Store, as of February 28, RT News was ranked #42 in the News category, and Sputnik was ranked #85, according to Sensor Tower. Additionally, global installs of RT News for iOS increased by 241% in the last 7 days compared to the previous 7 days. And Sputnik installs on iOS grew 163% over the same period, the company found.

However, the two app store intelligence services reported different estimates for the traces of the Russian apps.

Sensor Tower reports that since its launch in May 2013, RT News has had 5.7 million installs worldwide, including 1.7 million on the App Store alone. Sputnik has had 2 million installs worldwide since its release in March 2015, and around 470,000 of them on iOS.

Meanwhile, Apptopia’s data shows that the apps had a wider reach. It sees RT News with 10 million lifetime installs worldwide, including 2.5 million on iOS. And Sputnik News had 3.85 million downloads, including 960,000 on iOS.

Neither company has an exact number because they don’t use direct access to App Store data — only Apple and the app publishers know the true install numbers. Instead, both generate estimates using statistical models.

The news sites weren’t the only affected apps related to the Russo-Ukrainian war. Apple also disabled both traffic and live incidents on Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens, it said following a similar movement from Google.

Apple pulls Russian state-owned media outlets RT and Sputnik from global App Stores – TechCrunch Source link Apple pulls Russian state-owned media outlets RT and Sputnik from global App Stores – TechCrunch

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