Apple appears to have pulled popular trading apps MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 4, also known as MT4 and MT5, from the App Store overnight in a move possibly linked to the Western sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Neither Apple nor MetaQuotes has publicly commented on the removal.
Both apps are available on Google Play, the equivalent for Android phones, as of Saturday at 9 PM AEST. The desktop versions also remain unaffected at the moment.
MetaQuotes Software Corp. provides app versions of the popular PC electronic trading platforms; a Russian software company also registered offshore in Limassol, Cyprus.
There is no publicly accessible information about the beneficial owners of MetaQuotes besides CEO Renat Fatkhullin, who has always kept a low profile.
The United States and its allies, particularly the EU, have imposed several rafts of sanctions targeting Moscow following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, including its central bank, major lenders, oligarchs, business elites, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Visa and Mastercard suspended their operations in Russia while banning corresponding bank transfers and financial transactions.
Russian payment system Mir, which was only supported by a handful of countries outside Russia, was also dealt a heavy blow this week after banks in Turkey and Central Asian countries suspension. This was after the U.S. Treasury sent a letter to financial institutions warning they risked penalties if they maintained commercial ties with sanctioned Russian individuals or businesses or any entity linked to them.
Apple stopped all product sales and suspended financial services in March, including Apple Pay in Russia.
MT4 was released in Russia in 2005 before MT5 came in 2009 to support more trading instruments. According to a study conducted in September 2019, MetaTrader 4 was still the most popular trading platform in the world.