Ukraine crisis: Apple halts all product sales in Russia as RT and Sputnik pulled from app store

Apple has suspended the sales of all its products in Russia due to the country’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

While the tech giant does not have any physical shops in Russia and ships its products to the country via its online stores, it said it is taking “a number of actions” in response to the invasion.

“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 statement on Tuesday, adding that it has paused all product sales in Russia and stopped all exports into its sales channel in the country.

RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia,” Apple said.

The multinational tech company also said it has disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine “as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.”

Apple said its other services, including Apple Pay, have been limited in Russia, with customers at several banks in the country already reporting on social media that they are unable to use their bank cards with Google Pay and Apple Pay.

The moves come amid increasing public pressure on tech companies to act against the invasion of Ukraine with several countries already imposing economic sanctions on Russia.

Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted in reply to Apple’s recent move that the company’s chief Tim Cook should “finish the job” and urged the tech giant to “block” access to its app store in Russia.

Social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have already begun cracking down on content shared by Russian state media amid increasing pressure from European officials to curb pro-Russian propaganda.

Last week, YouTube suspended several Russian media channels, including state-funded media outlet RT, from generating revenue on the platform due to the “extraordinary” invasion of Ukraine, following a similar move by Facebook.

The Google-owned video platform has also blocked channels linked to Russian state-owned media outlets such as RT and Sputnik across Europe – including the UK – amid Russia’s invasion.

“We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking. We join all those around the world who are calling for peace,” Apple said in the statement.

Source link