TikTok, AmEx, Netflix join list of companies suspending operations in Russia
TikTok, American Express Co., Netflix Inc. and two of the Big Four accounting firms joined the long list of companies suspending operations in Russia on Sunday, in response to the invasion of Ukraine and Russia’s crackdown on the media.
“In light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law, we have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service while we review the safety implications of this law. Our in-app messaging service will not be affected,” TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, said in a tweet Sunday.
On Friday, Russia passed a new law that could result in prison time for anyone disseminating what authorities deem false information about the war in Ukraine. News organizations such as CNN, the BBC and Bloomberg suspended operations in the country for their reporters’ safety, and Russia cut off access to Meta Platform Inc.’s
Facebook and Twitter Inc.
On Sunday, American Express
joined Visa Inc.
and PayPal Inc.
in shutting down operations in Russia and Belarus, citing the invasion. That means AmEx cards will no longer work at Russian merchants or ATMs, and cards issued by Russian banks on the American Express global system will no longer work outside the country.
Read more: Visa, Mastercard say they will suspend Russia operations
“One of our company values is to ‘Do What is Right.’ This principle has guided us throughout our history and will continue to do so as we stand by our colleagues, customers, and the international community in hoping for a peaceful resolution to this crisis,” AmEx Chief Executive Stephen Squeri said in a statement.
too, on Sunday said it was shutting operations in Russia. “Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia,” the company said in a statement. The move also freezes production of four Russian original series, Variety reported.
Last week, Netflix said it refused a Russian demand that it carry 20 state-backed TV stations. Netflix launched in Russia last year, and has less than 1 million subscribers there, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Two of the Big Four accounting firms on Sunday also announced they are pulling out of Russia. In an emailed statement, KPMG said it was cutting ties with its member firms in Russia and Belarus their 4,500 workers. “This decision is not about them – it is a consequence of the actions of the Russian government,” KPMG said. PriceWaterhouseCoopers said in a statement that “under the circumstances, PwC should not have a member firm in Russia and consequently PwC Russia will leave the network.” Its Russian unit has about 3,700 workers, PwC said.
A number of high-profile companies have pulled out of Russia or halted operations there over the past week-plus, including Apple Inc.
Google, Uber Technologies Inc.
and Microsoft Corp.
See: How Big Tech is supporting Ukraine, from halting sales and ads in Russia to fighting misinformation
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