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Samsung, Netflix, TikTok and PayPal stop sales and services in Russia

The news: As Russia’s attacks on Ukraine intensify, so do sanctions from various technology companies as they apply pressure on Russia and show their support for Ukraine. 

How we got here: After various Big Tech companies responded to the war in Ukraine by closing offices in Russia and ceasing product sales and services, a second wave of notable technology companies are showing support for Ukraine, per Insider.

  • TikTok has temporarily restricted users in Russia from live streaming and uploading new videos to its platform. TikTok said it was doing so in response to Russia’s “fake news” law that could lead to arrests of people spreading misinformation.
  • Samsung, the leading smartphone seller in Russia, suspended shipments of smartphones, consumer electronics, and chips to Russia, per Bloomberg. The company said it was also donating $6 million as well as $1 million in devices to humanitarian efforts in the region. 
  • Netflix, which initially halted all Russian projects and productions, has suspended all services, following the lead of Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, and Sony
  • PayPal halted its payment services, including Xoom money transfer, in Russia. "PayPal supports the Ukrainian people and stands with the international community in condemning Russia's violent military aggression in Ukraine," PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said.
  • Carmakers Volvo, GM, Ford, Renault, Honda, BMW, VW, Jaguar Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz have similarly made a U-turn away from Russia, ceasing operations as a show of solidarity with Ukraine, per Drive.

What’s next: Russian consumers will bear the brunt of these sanctions and experience firsthand what life is like without these products and services. It remains to be seen if continued pressure from global companies will make a difference as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine.

  • Russia's Ministry of Digital Development acknowledged that the ongoing sanctions could adversely affect tech businesses and prescribed measures to counteract the deluge of service shutdowns.
  • Proposed solutions include ending dependency on internet infrastructure hosted offshore and disconnecting from the global internet.

What’s the catch: Russia’s proposed plan to break off from the global internet to insulate itself from international dependence could fracture the global network and cause widespread connectivity issues affecting all countries.