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Microsoft and others join Apple in boycotting Russia


The list of major US tech companies that have halted product sales in Russia grew on Friday, with Microsoft joining Apple and others in a growing show of solidarity with Ukraine.

Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a blog post on 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 unwarranted, unprovoked and unlawful invasion by Russia,” Smith wrote.

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

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

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

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

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

apple first

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

“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all those who suffer 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 to 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 to Russia. It also disabled live traffic and incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine “as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens”.

Apple has also removed the RT News and Sputnik News apps from the App Store for markets outside of Russia. Reuters reports that Microsoft, Google, YouTube and Facebook are also taking action against these state-controlled networks. Google says it blocks network apps and ads on its websites. YouTube and Facebook take similar advertising measures.

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

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

Enterprise software giants Oracle and SAP have both said they will suspend business operations in Russia, as a show of solidarity with Ukraine.

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