More platform players reject Russian aggression, stop sales there

Ukraine

Game publishers such as Epic Games, Ubisoft, Take-Two and Activision-Blizzard are joining the boycott of Russia by pausing the sale of games in the country.

As the pressure from economic sanctions against Russia increases, companies from across the platform economy are joining a vociferous global protest against the invasion of Ukraine. Some of these companies provide vital services, especially within the tech, hi-tech and consumer markets.

Last Friday, Microsoft announced that it would stop sales of its new products in Russia as the invasion by Russia of the sovereign state of Ukraine continued.

On the same day, Meta Platforms stopped Russian state media from running ads on its platform. Meanwhile, Google barred Russia’s state-owned media channels from receiving ad revenue.

Apple also announced that it would stop online sales of its devices in Russia shortly after the invasion started.

Within the audio streaming sector, Spotify Technology closed its office in Moscow, although it continued to allow access to its content to counter fake news that may be propagated by the Russian government.

At last count, almost 250 large corporates have announced plans either to suspend operations or to cease selling their products in what is fast becoming a pariah state. Leading video streamer Netflix, which is popular in Russia and has about a million subscribers there, has also announced that it is withdrawing from the marketplace.

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Other platform companies suspending business in Russia include PayPal, Adobe and Just Eat Takeaway.com’s GrubHub.

The backlash is coming not solely from British, US, EU and other western companies, with China’s TikTok announcing its plans to end live streaming and new content for its video service, although the move was likely due to authoritarian laws just passed in Russia that would effectively send some of the platforms users deemed to be spreading “fake news” to prison.

The exodus of technology companies from Russia is a result of Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine.

Russia’s state communications regulator Roskomnadzor also re-imposed a slowdown on Twitter’s loading speed in order to control what it claims to be ‘fake news’ about Russian aggression in Ukraine. Again, this reinforces what Platform Executive have been stating for months. How lawmakers (and regulators) across the world decide what is disinformation, misinformation, or ‘fact’ opens the door to control of the Overton window by nation states seeking to control their populations. Authoritarianism is never the answer.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this article. Automatic translation from English to a growing list of languages via Google AI Cloud Translation. Reporting by Rob Phillips.

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