In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, several tech companies have called in for suspensions of services in Russia, including notable names, such as Netflix, Snapchat, Apple, etc, and more. This list seems to only be growing to impose significant sanctions on Russia.
This development comes after last week, when big tech companies Meta and Google started acting on the Russia-Ukraine crisis by restricting the Russian media from running ads or monetising on their platforms. Meanwhile, Twitter also restricted some users in Russia, the company said. (Check out our detailed explainer on how tech giants have responded to the Russia-Ukraine crisis.) Here’s how payment giants, OTT platforms, and gaming companies are restricting Russia from their platforms and services.
Netflix has pulled its services from Russia, protesting at the country’s full scale invasion of Ukraine. According to Bloomberg, new customers in Russia can no longer sign up, and existing customers will lose access in the coming days and weeks. The company also announced that it would halt all future projects and associations from the country. Notably, Netflix had four Russian originals in the works, all of which have now been put on hold.
Payment giant PayPal clamped its services in Russia, citing “the current circumstances.” The company has also stopped accepting any new users from Russia. “Under the current circumstances, we are suspending PayPal services in Russia,” President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in a statement, adding that the company “stands with the international community in condemning Russia’s violent military aggression in Ukraine,” reported Reuters.
Gaming companies such as Nintendo have also joined the protest against Russia. Nintendo said it has restricted its eShop in Russia, meaning that no purchases will take place on the Nintendo Switch in the country. “Due to the fact that the payment service used in [the] Nintendo eShop has suspended the processing of payments in rubles, the Nintendo eShop in Russia is temporarily placed into maintenance mode,” a statement on the Nintendo Life reads.
Epic Games via its Newsroom post stated that it is “stopping commerce with Russia in our games.” It has clarified that it will not be blocking access to games for those who already own them and to its communication tools. Meanwhile, in a letter to its employees, which Activision Blizzard also shared on Twitter, its president and COO Daniel Alegre has announced that the company “will be suspending new sales of and in our games in Russia while this conflict continues.”
Snapchat was quick to disable its heat map in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the country. Russia could have used the feature to plot military attacks by identifying areas with high concentrations of Ukrainians. Snapchat announced the change in a tweet: “As a safety precaution we have temporarily disabled the Snap Map’s heatmap of public Snaps in Ukraine,” the company said. “We will continue to offer curated Stories comprised of Snaps submitted in Ukraine.”
Additionally, Snapchat announced it will donate $15 million in humanitarian aid to support Ukraine, and also halted ad sales in Russia.
Adobe said it will stop all new sales in Russia citing the “unlawful war” being waged in Ukraine. CEO Shantanu Narayen stated in a blog post: “As we see this tragedy unfold, we believe we have a responsibility to ensure our products and services are not used in support of this unlawful war. Effective immediately, Adobe will halt all new sales of Adobe products and services in Russia.”
Apple has stopped the sale of its products in Russia, in solidarity with Ukraine. The company has also disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.
Earlier, the company imposed limitations for Apple Pay in Russia in accordance with sanctions. Some Russian news apps were also taken down from the App Store outside of Russia.
“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence. We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region,” Apple said in a statement.
Samsung Electronics said it is suspending shipments to Russia “due to current geopolitical developments, shipments to Russia have been suspended.”
The company in a statement said that it is also donating $6 million, including $1 million in “consumer electronics as well as voluntary donations from employees, to actively support humanitarian efforts and refugees in the region.”