Apple has be told by Russian telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor to remove messenger app Telegram from the App Store in Russia.
Russia recently banned the encrypted chat app after the company behind it refused to adhere to a court order to give the state access to messages sent by users. The firm was previously based in the country but has now moved its HQ to Dubai.
The BBC reports that Apple has one month to remove Telegram from the Russia-facing App Store.
It’s not clear what actions regulator Roskomnadzor might take if Apple refuses to bow to its demands, but it could potentially result in the marketplace being taken offline.
Corporation versus government
In the past Apple has bowed to government pressure on the removal of certain apps. In China, it removed dozens of VPN apps from its store as they didn’t have a licence - a new rule added by the Chinese government as part of efforts to stop members of the public circumventing its heavily regulated internet.
According to Telegram, Apple has already blocked it from updating its app globally since mid-April. This could mean it’s not GDPR compliant, raising questions about the legality of the app in Europe under the new privacy rules.
When Russia originally initiated its ban on Telegram in April by demanding internet service providers block the app, it inadvertently resulted in 16 million IP addresses owned by Amazon and Google being blocked as well.
As IT infrastructure firm G-Core Labs told PocketGamer.biz, companies affected included Nintendo, NCSoft, Super Evil Megacorp, Roberts Space Industries and Twitch.