A draft law on the creation of a domestic application store has been submitted to the State Duma. It will be mandatory to be pre-installed on technical devices. Experts believe that the main advantage of its creation will be the reduction of the impact of foreign sanctions on Russian developers.
The government submitted to the State Duma a draft law on the creation of a domestic application store. As noted in the explanatory note to the document, the document proposes to provide for the creation of a Russian application store, which will be mandatory pre-installed on technical devices.
“At the same time, software included in the list approved by the federal executive body responsible for the development and implementation of state policy and legal regulation in the field of information technology will be loaded into such an application store,” the document says.
The government explained the need to create a Russian app store due to sanctions pressure. It is noted that against this background, “there is a need to provide Russian citizens with familiar Internet services and channels of interaction.”
“Currently, the work of foreign application stores is largely limited, and therefore there is a risk of their termination. The proposed approach will make it possible to ensure fault tolerance and uninterrupted provision of Internet services, private and public services to Russian citizens without spending the federal budget,” the document says.
It will be easier to monetize
The list of applications that must be uploaded to the store is determined by the Ministry of Digital Development. The press service of the ministry said that the mobile application store is being created by a Russian social network operator, which is determined by the government, according to the rules and principles approved by the Ministry of Digital Development. But the list of applications is not limited to the must-haves.
Senior Manager, Accenture Technology Consulting Practice in Russia (her business was transferred to Russian management on April 1, 2022) Arseny Kondratiev CNews told CNews that the most important and obvious advantage of creating a domestic application store is to reduce the impact of restrictions on the publication of applications by sanctioned developers. In addition, such a measure should help promote Russian products and simplify their monetization, the expert believes.
“True, from the user’s point of view, when removing the restrictions introduced this year by foreign services, access to the entire application market at once looks much more convenient, since many of them currently either do not have Russian analogues, or such analogues have not managed to gain the required quality. Therefore, the main issue in the development strategy of a local app store should be to motivate people to use it, for example, through favorable prices or a loyalty system. Otherwise, no one will simply use it, ”Kondratyev is sure.
Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin at the end of April 2022 instructed the Ministry of Digital Development to complete the creation of a domestic application store for mobile devices by June 1. On May 13, the Russian Ministry of Digital Development submitted to the government a draft federal law on the domestic application store.
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The Ministry of Digital Development explained that the decision had been made, since Russian citizens need to be provided with familiar Internet services. To prepare the domestic application store, the Ministry of Digital Development held a series of working meetings in May 2022 with the participation of the largest IT companies in Russia.
As a result of the meeting, a memorandum was signed, the participants of which will provide mutual expert support, place their applications in a domestic application, provide their own technologies and services for its development, and so on.
The function of the operator is carried out by the company VK. The main principles of the store are defined in a memorandum signed, among others, by VK, Yandex, Sberbank, Rostelecom, Tinkoff, Avito, Headhunter, Ozon, Wildberries, Gazprom Media.
VK and other IT companies, with the support of the Ministry of Digital Development, launched on May 25 a beta version of the Russian application store, which they called RuStore. It already hosts almost 650 mobile applications that have been downloaded more than 500,000 times.
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On mobile devices with the Android operating system, you can download the store on the official page rustore.ru for developers. A personal account is open for downloading applications. Support is available 24/7, the Ministry of Digital Development concluded.