YouTube, Google Play suspend services in Russia

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Alphabet Inc's YouTube and Google Play store are suspending all payment-based services in Russia, including subscriptions, as Western sanctions start to pose banking challenges in the country.

Google and YouTube had recently stopped selling online advertising in Russia following similar pauses by Twitter Inc and Snap Inc after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

"As a follow-up, we're now extending this pause to all our monetisation features, including YouTube Premium, Channel Memberships, Super Chat and Merchandise, for viewers in Russia," YouTube said in a statement on Thursday.

YouTube channels in Russia will still be able to generate revenue from viewers outside of Russia through ads and paid features, which include Super Chat and merchandise sales. 

Free apps on Google Play also remain available in Russia, according to a company support website.

Other tech companies that have restricted sales or shipments to Russia include Microsoft, IBM, HP, Cisco, DXC and Red Hat, among others.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave in Oakland, California and Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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