Russia launches homespun Google Play alternative

Russia launches homespun Google Play alternative
/ Image: bne IntelliNews.
By bne IntelIiNews May 17, 2022

Russia has launched NashStore, its answer to Google Play. The platform is a response to western sanctions and the withdrawal of tech companies from the Russian market. NashStore currently offers 1,000 applications, compared with Apple’s 2mn and over 3mn on Google Play. “Nash” translates as “Our”.

The platform, which is available only on Android devices, also allows users to download the apps of businesses which have been sanctioned or have pulled out of Russia. The app of state-run banking giant Sberbank is included, as is online film streaming service Wink.

NashStore also allows users to download RuTube, the hastily designed Russian alternative to YouTube. RuTube was hacked in May. As a result, the video-hosting service had its website taken down, and even the source of its code may have been undermined. The attack may have been conducted by international hacking group Anonymous.

By downloading RuTube on NashStore, Russian users can find a workaround for the long-term damage done to the site by the hackers.

However, NashStore is no match for the market-leading tech companies it claims to rival. The platform – which 700 Russian companies collaborated to build – was supposed to be launched on May 9, Russia’s Victory Day. It is no surprise that the project is behind schedule, however.

Without the support of Google Play, on which the platform would first have to be installed, it is unlikely to enjoy much popularity. Users wanting to install NashStore must first search for its website and install the software, then register an account.

The Russian Ministry of Finance claims that NashStore is not receiving funding from the budget of the Russian Federation.