Russia's Facebook-like VK removed from Apple App Store

Russian social media provider VK Company Ltd has confirmed its apps were removed from Apple's App Store.

"Some VK applications are now blocked by Apple, so they are not available for download or update in the App Store," said (translated from Russian) the company formerly known as VKontakte.

VK reassured users that installed apps will continue to work but said notifications and payments could get tricky, though recently issued core updates would keep the company afloat.

It suggested users of its most popular product, Facebook analog VKontakte, could use the mobile or desktop version of the site.

"VK will continue to develop and support iOS apps," said the company. The apps remain available on Google's Play Store.

According to state-owned news agency TASS, Russia's Ministry of Digital Affairs contacted Apple to find the reasons behind its deletion and said the company would receive a subsequent "plan of action."

TASS also reported that the company sold its gaming division to businessman Alexander Chachava for $642 million on Tuesday. The division will continue to be run by its current management. Many other gaming systems are currently blocked in Russia thanks to sanctions.

VK's share price wobbled this week on the Russian stock market, according to state-sponsored media RT, dropping over 20 percent on Monday and recovering 7.5 percent on Tuesday.

VKontakte's founders, brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, are also the founders of messaging app Telegram.

Pavel Durov left VK as CEO after refusing to hand over Ukrainian protester data or block Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's VK page. He subsequently placed himself in exile and eventually obtained Saint Kitts and Nevis, French, and United Arab Emirates citizenship.

The billionaire's hobbies include posting shirtless pictures on Instagram and trolling Russian president Vladimir Putin. ®

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