Netflix, PayPal, Adobe and others join tech companies suspending business in Russia

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Numerous tech companies are joining the growing list of tech brands that are suspending their operations in Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine. The latest batch of companies doing so includes several notable names, such as Netflix, PayPal, Mastercard, Visa and more.

Over the weekend, Netflix said it’s suspending its service in Russia, as first reported by Variety. The move comes after the company said last week it would not comply with a new Russian law that requires streaming companies to host 20 Russian propaganda channels. Netflix has also paused all future projects it had planned to produce in Russia.

Adobe also announced that it will halt all new sales of Adobe products and services in Russia. The company says it believes it has a responsibility to ensure its products and services are “not used in support of this unlawful war.”

PayPal has said it’s shutting down services in Russia, as first reported by Reuters on Saturday. In a tweet, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov shared a letter from PayPal CEO Dan Schulman confirming the move.

PayPal wasn’t the only payments company to pull out of the country. Mastercard Saturday announced that it’s suspending its network services in Russia, which means that cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported on the Mastercard network. In addition, all Mastercards issued outside of the country will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs. The company says it will restore operations when it is appropriate to do so. 

Similarly, Visa said on Saturday it has also suspended all operations in Russia. The company said it will work with its clients and partners within Russia to cease all Visa transactions. All transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country and any Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work within the Russian Federation.

Game companies have also now joined others in the tech industry in ending business within Russia. Epic Games announced Saturday that it is stopping commerce with Russia in its games. However, the publisher said it’s “not blocking access for the same reason other communications tools remain online: the free world should keep all lines of dialogue open.”

Epic Games isn’t the only game publisher to take a stance, as Activision Blizzard had announced Friday it will pause selling its games to Russian consumers. The company will also stop offering in-game purchases in Russia.

Nintendo suspended digital sales in Russia, too, as the eShop in Russia has been temporarily placed in maintenance mode due to the fact that the payment service it uses “has suspended the processing of payments in rubles.”

Snapchat expanded the actions it was taking with a recent announcement that it’s disabling the Snap Map’s “heatmap” of public Snaps in Ukraine, as a safety precaution. The feature typically highlights places where people have shared numerous Snaps. The move comes as Snap previously announced that it was pausing ads in Russia.

Also this weekend, TikTok announced it’s suspending livestreaming and new content to its video service in response to Russia’s new “fake news” law. The law threatens prison time for anyone who publishes what the Kremlin deems to be false information about the country’s invasion of Ukraine. TikTok has decided to suspend operations in the country to maintain the safety of employees and users.

Samsung Electronics said it will suspend shipments of all products to Russia “due to the current geopolitical developments.” The products that have been suspended include smartphones, semiconductors and consumer electronics. Its move followed similar announcements from device makers, Apple and Dell, chipmaker Intel, and software giant Microsoft.

GrubHub said it’s ending a partnership with Russian tech giant Yandex, as first reported by Reuters. The multi-year partnership was for driverless robots that deliver food to college students. Grubhub is a unit of Just Eat Takeaway.com, which is Europe’s largest meal delivery company.

This latest batch of companies taking a stance against Russia is joining the likes of Apple, Google and others. Last week, Apple confirmed that it halted product sales in Russia. The hardware giant also pulled Sputnik and RT News from the App Store and disabled some Apple Pay services in the country. Google followed Apple’s lead and removed the apps of Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik from its mobile app store. Google also paused its ads sales in Russia.

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