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More tech companies follow Apple’s lead on Russia pullout

From enterprise software to games, the list of tech companies halting sales and operations in Russia continues to grow.

More tech companies follow Apple’s lead on Russia pullout
As of March 2, all re:Store shops in Moscow have been closed as Apple halts all product sales in Russia. [Photo: Vladimir Gerdo\TASS via Getty Images]

The list of big U.S. tech companies halting sales of products in Russia expanded Friday, with Microsoft joining Apple and others in a growing show of solidarity with Ukraine.

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Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a blog post Friday that his company would suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia.

“Like the rest of the world, we are horrified, angered, and saddened by the images and news coming from the war in Ukraine and condemn this unjustified, unprovoked, and unlawful invasion by Russia,” Smith wrote.

Smith said Microsoft is working closely with the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union to comply with terms of sanctions on Russia that are already in place.

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Microsoft’s pullout also includes Xbox games and related products, which will become unavailable in the Russian and Belarusian markets.

Gaming giant Electronic Arts said it too would halt sales in Russia and Belarus. “We have made the decision to stop sales of our games and content, including virtual currency bundles, in Russia and Belarus while this conflict continues,” the company said in a blog post Friday.

Eurogamer reports that Sony has removed the Gran Turismo 7 game from the Russian Playstation store, but did so without formally announcing it.

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Another game developer, CD Projekt Red, said it would stop selling its titles in Russia and Belarus.

Apple first

Among big tech companies, Apple was the first to move on boycotting Russia, announcing March 1 that it would be halting sales of its products in the country.

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“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,” the company said in a March 1 statement sent to Fast Company and other publications. “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 says it has limited its Apple Pay service in Russia. It also disabled traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine “as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.”

Apple also removed the RT News and Sputnik News apps from the App Store for markets outside Russia. Reuters reports that Microsoft, Google, YouTube, and Facebook also are taking action against those state-controlled networks. Google says it’s blocking the networks’ apps and ads on its websites. YouTube and Facebook are taking similar ad measures.

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At least two Ukraine-based app developers have now pulled their apps from the Russian and Belarus markets. The productivity app maker Readdle announced its decision to do so earlier this week. The Mac app maker MacPaw first slowed support for its productivity apps, then halted new sales of the apps in Russia and Belarus.

Netflix has paused all future projects and acquisitions from Russia, Variety reported. The company had four original series from Russian producers in the works, the report says.

The enterprise software giants Oracle and SAP both said they would suspend business operations in Russia, as show of solidarity with Ukraine.

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We will continue to update this story if and when more tech companies pull their products and services from Russia and Belarus.

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About the author

Fast Company Senior Writer Mark Sullivan covers emerging technology, politics, artificial intelligence, large tech companies, and misinformation. An award-winning San Francisco-based journalist, Sullivan's work has appeared in Wired, Al Jazeera, CNN, ABC News, CNET, and many others.

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