Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Apple pauses product sales in Russia

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The iPhone maker stated it has paused all product sales in Russia and final week stopped all exports into its sales channel in the nation. Apple Pay and different companies have been restricted. RT News and Sputnik News are now not out there for obtain from the App Store exterior Russia, it stated.

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Apple has additionally disabled each visitors and reside incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a security and precautionary measure for Ukrainian residents, it stated. Google equally restricted its Maps options this weekend.

Apple’s transfer got here after Ukraine digital transformation minister Mykhailo Fedorov despatched a letter late final week to Apple chief government Tim Cook, asking the corporate to cease supplying Apple companies to Russia and to dam the App Store inside the nation.

“But we need your support – in 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers (hrad) and missiles,” he wrote in the letter.

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Apple is the newest firm to impose restriction in Russia — its strikes got here after main social media corporations together with YouTube, Facebook and TikTok moved to ban Russian state media retailers in Europe. Other Western corporations, together with Shell and General Motors, introduced plans this week to finish or freeze their dealings with the nation. Companies are reacting each to adjust to U.S. and European authorities sanctions in opposition to Russia, in addition to oppose Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

Apple has lengthy had an advanced relationship with Russia and different nations led by authoritarian regimes. In September, Apple gave into stress from Roskomnadzor, the Russian censorship company, when it eliminated a “Smart Voting” app in that nation. The app helped voters against Putin forged ballots in a method that will forestall splitting opposition assist amongst a number of candidates and handing victory to the Putin candidate.

Apple’s resolution to face as much as Putin Tuesday is a uncommon stance for a corporation that often abides by native legal guidelines, even in nations the place the applying of the legal guidelines are criticized by human rights advocates.

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In October 2019, throughout anti-China protests in Hong Kong, Apple eliminated the flag of Taiwan, a rustic China doesn’t acknowledge, from the emoji supplied in its keyboard and banned the media outlet Quartz, which had lined the protests. It additionally eliminated HKMap.reside, which Hong Kong protesters had used to evade law enforcement officials. At the time, Apple spokesman Fred Sainz defended these strikes, saying it had heard from police in Hong Kong that the app had been used to ambush police.

The nature of Apple’s enterprise, which requires a bodily presence in many locations all over the world, complicates issues when it faces stress to face as much as human rights abuses. For occasion, based on Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Apple is equipped by ten smelters in Russia, producing Gold, Tungsten and Tantalum used in merchandise just like the iPhone.

Apple isn’t the most important smartphone firm in Russia. In 2021, it got here in third behind Samsung and Xiaomi, based on knowledge from market analysis agency IDC. Samsung shipped 10.5 million telephones to the nation final yr, whereas Apple shipped simply 4.9 million. Samsung didn’t instantly reply to a request to remark.

Heather Kelly contributed to this report.





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