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Apple, Microsoft and Other Tech Companies Stop Sales in Russia


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Tech companies across the globe are pulling out of Russia.


Jakub Porzycki/Getty Images

This story is part of War in Ukraine, CNET’s coverage of events there and of the wider effects on the world.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, several companies have said they’ll stop sales of products and services in the country. This could make everything from video games to iPhones harder to get in Russia. 

Apple and Microsoft both said this week they’ll stop selling products in Russia. Game maker EA said it would stop the sale of games and other digital items while the conflict continues. Other online services, such as Airbnb, are suspending their operations in Russia. 

Tech companies have also responded in other ways, including cracking down on misinformation and reducing the online presence of Russian state-owned media outlets like RT News and Sputnik News. Google and Twitter have suspended advertising in Russia. 

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 after months of growing tension, marked by angry speeches from Russian President Vladimir Putin and a buildup of Russian forces along Ukraine’s borders. The US, the EU and the UK have all imposed economic sanctions on Russia, including ones aimed directly at Putin.

Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union for much of the 20th century, declared its independence in 1991. Since then, the country has been establishing closer ties with Western Europe and the US.

Here’s a look at some companies that have stopped sales or other services in Russia:

Apple: The tech giant stopped selling its products in Russia and is halting online transactions, including limiting Apple Pay in the country. Additionally, it’s disabled some Apple Maps features in Ukraine to protect civilians. 

Microsoft: The maker of Windows has suspended sales of its products and services in Russia, while pledging to beef up its cybersecurity in Ukraine. 

Google: Though users in Russia can still use Google’s search engine, the company has completely suspended its advertising business in the country. This includes ad revenue from YouTube, search and all other forms of Google-sponsored marketing. Some Google Maps features have also been disabled, though Google provides info on refugee resources for people fleeing Ukraine.

Samsung: Samsung is suspending shipments to Russia as of Friday. “Due to the current geopolitical developments, shipments to Russia have been suspended,” a Samsung spokesperson said. “We continue to actively monitor this complex situation to determine our next steps.”

TikTok: Short-form video app TikTok is suspending livestreaming and new content to its video service in Russia. The company said Sunday the decision was based on the newly passed “fake news” law in Russia, saying it needed to review the safety implications of the new legislation, which punishes those who spread “false information” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with sentences of up to 15 years in prison

Snapchat: The ephemeral-message app has halted all ad sales to Russian and Belarusian entities, though its app remains live throughout the region as a communication tool.

Airbnb: The room-rental service has suspended all operations in Russia and Belarus and has said its nonprofit subsidiary will offer free temporary housing to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. It’s also waived host and guest fees for bookings in Ukraine, as people worldwide use Airbnb as a way to provide income directly to Ukrainians by, as The Guardian put it, “paying but not staying.”

Disney: The entertainment company has halted all theatrical releases in Russia, including upcoming Pixar film Turning Red. 

Sony: The company’s movie studio has stopped upcoming theatrical releases in Russia. But so far the PlayStation 5, Sony’s popular gaming console, remains on sale. This comes despite increasing pressure for the company to cease sales of its gaming system in the country.

Warner Bros: The movie studio won’t release The Batman in Russia as scheduled and will instead pause operations in the country.

Paramount: Like the other movie studios on this list, Paramount will halt theatrical releases in Russia. This includes the upcoming Lost City, as well as a sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog. 

Universal: The movie studio will also suspend releases in Russia, though it has yet to announce the specific films that will be withheld. 

Nintendo: The video game company has currently placed its Russian e-shop in maintenance mode, meaning it’s unavailable for Russian users. As of now, Russian gamers are locked out of purchasing new games through the service. 

Electronic Arts: The maker of popular video games, including the FIFA franchise, has stopped selling all content in Russia and Belarus. This includes games, add-on content and virtual currency. Additionally, EA has removed Russian national teams from all versions of its soccer and hockey video games.

Intel: The tech company has suspended all shipments to customers in Russia and Belarus, including chips.

Netflix: The streaming giant has paused all projects and acquisitions in Russia. Additionally, Netflix has refused to add state-run channels to its Russian service. 

BMW, Ford, GM, Honda: Several automakers have scaled back their operations in Russia. BMW will stop local production in Kaliningrad and halt exports to Russia. Ford is suspending its operations in Russia “effective immediately, until further notice.” GM is suspending business in Russia. Honda has suspended exports there.





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