Russia could ban Apple and Google if they don't open offices in the country

Russia could ban Apple and Google if they don't open stores in the country
Russia demands tech companies that sell in the country to open stores in order to apply to a new law. This should happen by the end of 2021. If not, the operations of the company in the country could get suspended entirely.

In July, Russia introduced a new law that requires foreign internet companies with over 500,000 daily users to open local offices. Reuters reports that in a list from Russia’s telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor, it is said that thirteen companies in total do not fit the criteria. These include Apple, Google, Meta (Facebook), Twitter, TikTok, and Telegram.

According to the new Russian law, the companies that do not open offices in time could be subject to bans or limits on their ads and data gathering. In addition to having offices in the country, the companies need to agree on limiting access to information that violates Russian legislation.

This means that Russia can eventually try and censor content it sees unfit to be on the internet, like anti-Putin posts. This, in turn, means possible political oppression not only in traditional media but also in tech companies and social media.

All of this could lead many companies, especially those based in the U.S., to exit the Russian market entirely. Of course, this market is very appealing in terms of its volume, which means that current American companies could easily give way to Chinese companies if they decide to call it quits. As you know, China is another country that is very strict about online content and its domestic market.

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This is not the first instance of Russia not being happy with foreign tech companies. Recently, the country fined Apple $12 million for antitrust violations. The largest country in the world also banned Samsung from selling its foldable phones there due to a patent infringement with a Swiss-based company.

Time will tell if Russia will stick with its plan and if the companies on the list will open offices in the country or exit the market altogether.

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