Russia has now passed North Korea and Iran to become the most sanctioned nation in the world following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions now stand at 5530 compared to 3616 Iran has.
The continued invasion, now on its 13th day, has made tech companies suspend their operations and services in the country either through sanction liabilities or self-sanctions.
There’s also the criticism that comes from international consumers over any tech company that’s perceived to help Putin’s regime.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the current president of Ukraine had called on American companies to suspend all businesses in Russia during a video call with U.S Lawmakers.
HP and Intel
“We are working to support all of our employees through this difficult situation, especially those with close ties to this region. We have launched an employee donation and matching campaign through the Intel Foundation that has already raised over $1.2 million for relief efforts, and we are proud of the work our teams in surrounding areas including Poland, Germany and Romania are doing to aid refugees. We will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine and the global community in calling for an immediate end to this war and a swift return to peace,” said Intel in a statement.
Nvidia and AMD
AMD stopped all chip shipments to Russia and Belarus. NVidia has also halted sales to the country too.
“Based on sanctions placed on Russia by the United States and other nations, at this time AMD is suspending its sales and distribution of our products into Russia and Belarus. It is all AMD products and products we power (PCs, etc) in Russia and Belarus,” said AMD.
Other chip giants including TSMC and GlobalFoundaries have also suspended shipments of components to the country.
On Saturday, PayPal shut down its services in Russia citing Russia’s violent military aggression in Ukraine.
PayPal will however support withdrawals “for a period of time, ensuring that account balances are dispersed in line with applicable laws and regulations.”
The payments firm had stopped registering new users on Wednesday last week.
PayPal adds that it has helped raise over $150 million for charities supporting response efforts in Ukraine.
Other payments firms including Wise and Remitly had also suspended some services in Russia.
Visa, Mastercard and American Express
Mastercard said in a statement that its halting operations in reference to the “unprecedented nature of the current conflict and the uncertain economic environment.”
Globally issued credit cards from the companies will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia. Cards issued by local banks won’t work outside Russia.
Local visa card payments are processed under NSPK(Russia’s National Payment Card System). The Russian central bank says that Visa and Mastercard products given by local banks will continue to work until they expire.
The tech giant called out the invasion of Russia into Ukraine unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful.
They suspended all new sales of products and services in Russia, including those of Xbox consoles.
Microsoft is on it part providing protection to Ukrainian websites from Russian attacks.
“In addition, we are coordinating closely and working in lockstep with the governments of the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, and we are stopping many aspects of our business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft president and vice-chair.
Netflix shut down operations in Russia. They have paused all projects and acquisitions in the country.
The streaming giant has fewer than 1 million customers and isn’t registering any new customers.
Other media studios including Disney, Sony, and Warner Bros. have stopped or postponed releasing new movies in Russia.
“We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation. In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance,” Disney shared in a statement.
SAP and Oracle
SAP and Oracle have cancelled engagements in Russia.
“We are stopping business in Russia aligned with sanctions and, in addition, pausing all sales of SAP services and products in Russia,” said SAP.
Samsung, which has a 30% smartphone market share in the country, has suspended exports of all of its products to Russia. The South Korean tech giant will donate $6 million to humanitarian efforts – this donation also includes $1 million in consumer electronic products.
EA, Activision Blizzard, CD Projekt and Epic Games
Epic has halted commerce with Russia in its games. It’s unknown if this decision includes its own titles and any in-game purchases it offers in Fortnite.
Activision said that they would pause selling its games to Russian consumers. The company is also suspending offering in-game microtransactions.
Electroni Arts(EA) is also halting selling products in Belarus and Russia. EA said that they won’t allow players using the Russian-region Origin storefront or EA app to buy games and content which also includes virtual currency.
“We continue to be shocked at the conflict that is unfolding in Ukraine, and join so many voices around the world in calling for peace and an end to the invasion. We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Our primary concern is the ongoing safety of those in the region, particularly colleagues and partners, and we are seeking to understand how we might best help them further beyond our programs that are already in place,” said EA in a statement .
The video game publisher will remove its games from other digital storefronts and block sales of in-game content in both countries.
CD Projekt Red said it is suspending selling its games until further notice in Belarus and Russia. People in both countries won’t be able to buy its games including The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and CyberPunk 2077.
CD Projekt Red is also donating $242,000 to a humanitarian group in support of the conflict’s victims.
“While we are not a political entity capable of directly influencing state matters, and don’t aspire to be one, we do believe that commercial entities, when united, have the power to inspire global change in the hearts and minds of ordinary people. but with this action we wish to further galvanize the global community to speak about what is going on in the heart of Europe,” the company added.
Hi-Rez Studios, the developer for Rogue Company and Paladins said it is donating all of this month’s and April’s revenues from Russia to UNICEF to help children in Ukraine.
The game studio pledged a minimum of $50,000.
Poland-based Bloober Team which develops Blair Witch and The Medium also blocked sales of its games in Russia and Belarus on all platforms.
Apple stopped sales of iPhones, limited Apple pay services and removed the RT News and Sputnik News apps from its App store outside the country.
Popular short-form video app has also suspended services in Russia citing the country’s new fake news law that silences dissent and limits the right information from being shared regarding the invasion of Ukraine.
“In light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law, we have no choice but to suspend live-streaming and new content to our video service while we review the safety implications of this law,” TikTok said on Twitter.
“Our in-app messaging service will not be affected,” the statement added, noting that the platform is intended to be “an outlet for creativity and entertainment that can provide a source of relief and human connection during a time of war when people are facing immense tragedy and isolation.”
Google has suspended all advertising including ads on search, display marketing and YouTube.“In light of the extraordinary circumstances, we’re pausing Google ads in Russia. The situation is evolving quickly, and we will continue to share updates when appropriate,” said a Google spokesperson.
Facebook and Twitter
Russia has restricted access to Twitter and blocked Facebook and Instagram. This is the country’s efforts to control the narrative about its invasion of Ukraine in what they are calling “special military operations in Ukraine”
“We’re aware that Twitter is being restricted for some people in Russia and are working to keep our service safe and accessible,” Twitter shared in a tweet.
Meta, Instagram and Facebook’s parent company was demoting posts from users sharing links associated with the Russian state media and had been pushing false narratives surrounding the invasion in Ukraine.
Alot of Russians receive their information from state media that shows their country not as an aggressor but a victim of the West. The Russian government even banned the use of words like war, aggression and invasion and outlets that violate this face closure or fines.
“Soon millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everyday ways of connecting with family and friends and silenced from speaking out. We will continue to do everything we can to restore our services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action,” said Meta head of Global Affairs Nick Clegg.
Media companies including CNN, Bloomberg and CNN have temporarily suspended their news operations in Russia following the new “fake news” law. The law threatens to imprison individuals and journalists if what they publish is deemed “fake news” by Moscow regarding information about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“It leaves us no other option than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development. The safety of our staff is paramount and we are not prepared to expose them to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs. I’d like to pay tribute to all of them, for their bravery, determination and professionalism,” said Tim Davie, BBC director-general.
“The change to the criminal code, which seems designed to turn any independent reporter into a criminal purely by association, makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country. We will not do that to our reporters in Russia who have produced such extraordinary coverage under already trying circumstances,” added John Micklethwait, Bloomberg editor-in-chief.
“CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward,” said a CNN spokesperson.
Articles in This Stream
- How Tech Companies Are Responding to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
- Social Media Platforms Can’t Keep Up With Misinformation on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
- Tiktok Bans Russian Users From Uploading Content on the Platform
Articles in this stream
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