Three days ago we published an article about a request by the State of Ukraine to Apple to stop selling products and the App Store in Russia -read here- With the crisis continuing and Western pressure increasing on Russia, Apple decided to take steps yesterday. These steps have come as the most powerful measure among those taken by US technology companies.
Apple has decided to completely stop sales of devices in Russia and stop exporting its products to the country.
Russian state TV apps not available
Apple has blocked applications for Russian state media (RT and Sputnik) from the App Store outside Russia.
Disabling some map features in Ukraine
Traffic congestion and live event notification features have been discontinued on the Apple Maps app “to protect the safety of Ukrainian citizens,” as Apple described it. Google has also temporarily stopped traffic updates in its Google Maps.
Payment services stopped
Apple pay has stopped (and it is reported that Google Pay has also stopped), and this has already caused many disruptions in Russia, such as the subway that relied on these services for express payment, and there were increasing lines waiting to find paper money.
The company’s statements came as follows (adapted): “We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with those who suffer because of the violence. We support the delivery of humanitarian aid to those affected by the war and do everything we can to support our teams of personnel working in the region.”
Tim Cook has sent a letter to Apple employees
I wanted to take a moment to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. I know I speak on behalf of everyone at Apple in expressing our concern to all those affected by the violence. With each new image of families fleeing their homes and brave citizens fighting for their lives, we see how important it is for people around the world to come together to advance the cause of peace.
Apple donates to humanitarian relief efforts and provides aid to the unfolding refugee crisis. We are also working with partners to assess what more we can do. I know many of you are eager to find ways to support as well, and we want to help amplify the impact of your donations. Starting today, Apple will match your donations at a 2:1 ratio to eligible organizations, and we'll make this retroactive to donations to those organizations since February 25th. Please visit the employee bid portal to learn more.
We are working to support our teams in Ukraine and throughout the region. In Ukraine, we were in contact with every employee, and helped them and their families in any way we could. For members of our Ukrainian team who are outside the country who may need support, please contact us. For any employee needing any support, please visit the People site for available resources.
We will continue to assess the situation and communicate with the relevant governments about the actions we are taking. This moment demands unity, calls for courage, and reminds us that we must never lose sight of the humanity we all share. In these challenging times, I take comfort in knowing that we are united in our commitment to each other, our users, and to being a force for good in the world.