Apple, Microsoft and other tech companies stop sales in Russia

Tech companies around the world are pulling out of Russia.

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

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

Apple and Microsoft announced this week that they would stop selling products in Russia. Game maker EA said it will halt sales of games and other digital items while the dispute continues. Other online services, like Airbnb, are suspending operations in Russia.

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

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

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

Here is an overview of some companies that have ceased sales or other services in Russia:

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

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

Google: Although users in Russia can still use Google’s search engine, the company has completely suspended its advertising activity in the countryside. This includes advertising revenue from YouTube, search, and all other forms of Google-sponsored marketing. Some Features of Google Maps have also been disabled, although Google provides information on resources for refugees for people fleeing Ukraine.

Samsung: Samsung is suspending shipments to Russia from Friday. “Due to 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.”

Snapchat: The short-lived messaging app has stopped all ad sales to Russian and Belarusian entities, although its application remains active throughout the region as a communication tool.

Airbnb: The room rental service suspended all operations in Russia and Belarus and said its nonprofit subsidiary provide free temporary accommodation to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. It is also host and guest fee waiver for bookings in Ukraine, because people around the world use Airbnb as a way to provide income directly to Ukrainians by, as The Guardian put it, “pay but don’t stay.”

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

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

Warner Bros: The film studio will not release The Batman in Russia as planned and will instead suspend operations in the country.

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

Universal: The film studio will also suspend releases in Russia, although it has not yet announced the specific films that will be retained.

Nintendo: The video game company has currently placed its Russian online store in maintenance mode, which means it is not available to Russian users. As of now, Russian players cannot purchase 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 football and hockey video games.

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

Netflix: The streaming giant has suspended all projects and acquisitions in Russia. Additionally, Netflix refused to add public channels to its Russian service.

BMW, Ford, GM, Honda: Several car manufacturers have reduced their operations in Russia. BMW will stop local production in Kaliningrad and stop exports to Russia. Ford is suspending operations in Russia “effective immediately, until further notice.” GM suspends operations in Russia. Honda has suspended its exports there.

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