September 28, 2022

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Joining rest of big tech, Apple halts all sales in Russia and limits services

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Apple Inc. announced today that it’s halting all product sales in Russia, a move in line with various measures big technology companies have taken against the country since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The move comes about a week after Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov sent a letter to Apple in which he called the invasion “a deceptive and absolutely outrageous military attack.” He asked Apple to do all it could to help Ukraine, which included stopping the supply of Apple services and products to 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,” Apple said in a letter today, adding that it has now paused the sale of its products in Russia.

“Apple Pay and other services have been limited,” the company added. “RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia. And we have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens. ”

Also today, Meta Platforms Inc. said it will be demoting all links that come from Russian state-controlled media websites. Meta had already blocked Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik in Europe after a request from the EU and some of its member governments.

Google LLC-owned YouTube said the same today, stating that it was in the process of blocking RT and Sputnik from its platform in Europe, an action it said will take some time to “fully ramp up.” The company said in a blog post that it’s “committed to complying with all sanctions requirements and we continue to monitor the latest guidance.”

Google has also said media outlets funded by the Russian government have been restricted in using advertising tools. The use of Google Pay is now limited in the country, although services such as Maps and YouTube will remain available to Russians.

On top of that, TikTok said it is also now blocking Russian state media in the EU, while Microsoft Corp. announced such content would not be displayed in the Microsoft Start news feed and MSN.com. The company added that such content would also be demoted in a Bing search query.

Photo: Laurenz Heymann / Unsplash

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