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Apple halts all device sales in Russia in response to invasion of Ukraine

Apple halts all device sales in Russia in response to invasion of Ukraine

Samuel Axon

Apple has halted all sales of its products in Russia as a response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, the company announced this afternoon. Online sales were halted immediately, while the company says it stopped shipping products into Russian retail channels at some point last week.

Apple has also made changes to some of its services in response to the invasion; Russian state-controlled media companies RT and Sputnik have both had their apps removed from Apple’s App Stores in all territories outside Russia, and the company has stopped providing traffic and live incidents data for Ukraine within Apple Maps “as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.” The Apple Pay service has also been “limited”—the company didn’t elaborate, but transactions are no longer supported through a number of Russian banks that have been hit by sanctions.

In an internal email (via MacRumors), Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company was “donating to humanitarian relief efforts and providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis.” Apple would also match employee donations to “eligible organizations” 2-to-1.

Apple joins many other tech companies—including but not limited to Microsoft, Google, and Meta—in delisting and deprioritizing Russian state-controlled media outlets on its platforms. Microsoft has removed RT and Sputnik’s apps from the Windows Store and limited their presence on its Bing search engine, while YouTube has blocked RT and Sputnik content in Europe and demonetized their content elsewhere. Meta has been taking down bot networks on Facebook and Instagram as well as providing tools to safeguard the accounts and personal data of Ukrainian and Russian citizens. The US and other countries have also blocked exports of chips, telecom equipment, and other hardware into Russia as a result of the Ukraine invasion.

“We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking,” Apple said in a statement.

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