Earlier in the month, we put together an article outlining how tech companies were responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. From shutting off services to aiding in cyber defense, companies like Microsoft, Google, and Meta have significantly impacted the country's access to tech resources for both entertainment and business.
Well, it's a little more than a week later, and even more businesses have decided to pull out of Russia in an effort to persuade the country to end the conflict with Ukraine. Here's how even more tech companies are responding to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Apple Pausing All Sales
Hopefully Russians don't like iPhones too much, as the tech giant has decided to pause all sales of its popular devices in the country.
“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” said a spokesperson for Apple to TechCrunch. “We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.”
That's not all though. Earlier this month, Apple suspended its digital services like Apple Pay in Russia, blocked state-run media like Sputnik and RT News from the App Store, and blocked Apple Maps from displaying traffic and live incidents to help protect Ukrainian citizens.
Most recently, Apple decided to suspend Search Ads on the Russian App Store this week, which will be disabled “until further notice.”
TikTok Halting Uploads and Livestreams
As the most popular website in the world, TikTok has a serious level of influence over the tech world. The company has decided to jump on the Russian-ban bandwagon and has decided to suspend video uploads and livestreams in the country.
1/ TikTok is an outlet for creativity and entertainment that can provide a source of relief and human connection during a time of war when people are facing immense tragedy and isolation. However, the safety of our employees and our users remain our highest priority.
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) March 6, 2022
According to TikTok, the reasoning behind the move is due to Russia's new laws on the removal of “fake news,” which has proven to be nothing more than another propaganda tactic from the country.
Like other social media networks in line with the Russia ban, TikTok has also barred RT News and Sputnik from the mobile app.
PayPal Raising Money
That's right, PayPal, the financial powerhouse, has raised over $150 million in support of Ukraine, through a wide range of initiatives aimed at helping alleviate the stress of the invasion on the country.
“Since the beginning of the invasion, PayPal has helped raise over $150 million for charities supporting response efforts in Ukraine, one of the largest efforts we've seen in such a short period of time,” said PayPal in a statement.
While the initial response from financial powerhouse PayPal was a bit lackadaisical, still allowing cross-border transactions by users in Russia. Now though, the company has decided to fully cut off Russia from the service, halting operation of the financial service for the foreseeable future.
Airbnb Waiving Booking Fees
While Airbnb is facilitating the movement, this effort was actually organized by users that wanted to help Ukraine citizens. Some users realized that they could book Ukrainian Airbnb rentals, with no intention of visiting, in an effort to get funds directly into the hands of those who need it.
The idea went viral, spurring thousands of users to essentially donate funds through the home rental platform, raising nearly $2 million for Ukrainian citizens in need.
In 48 hours, 61,406 nights have been booked in Ukraine. That's $1.9M going to Hosts in need
Such a cool idea from our community. Thank you https://t.co/MEitgKB5Eo
— Brian Chesky 🇺🇦 (@bchesky) March 4, 2022
Subsequently, Airbnb has waived all guest and host booking fees to encourage more users to get in on the charitable giving. Of course, Airbnb is following suit with the rest of the tech and has shut off service in Russia, while supporting Ukrainian users through this unique movement.
Microsoft Suspending All Sales
A week ago, Microsoft announced that would be helping Ukraine in defending itself from Russian hacks, as the country is infamous for having a lot of resources when it comes to cybersecurity.
Now though, the Seattle-based tech giant has committed even further by suspending the sale of all products and services in Russia “to condemn this unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion.”
“We believe we are most effective in aiding Ukraine when we take concrete steps in coordination with the decisions being made by these governments and we will take additional steps as this situation continues to evolve,” reads the statement.
That's not all. Microsoft has also announced that it will not display any content from Russian state media firms and will actively de-rank search results on Bing.
Snapchat Stopping All Advertising
Social media companies in general have been steadfast in their support of Ukraine, and Snapchat and its parent company Snap are no different. The social media company has halted all advertisements running in Russia and is no longer accepting any funds from Russian-backed organizations.
“War is a scourge on our collective humanity, and in this case, it is a direct threat to many of our team members and their families. We are praying for their safety and for peace,” read a statement from the company.
Snap is going the extra mile, though, pledging $15 million to help out. The goal for the money is to “support organizations providing direct relief to the people of Ukraine.”
Coinbase Blocking Accounts
Many have reported that the sanctions on Russia aren't entirely effective, as the country and its many oligarchs are heavily invested in cryptocurrency, the notoriously unregulatable currency.
However, Coinbase — arguably the most well-known cryptocurrency exchange on the market — is making an effort to comply with any and all sanctions, by halting illicit activity through the blocking of over 25,000 addresses on the exchange.
“Sanctions play a vital role in promoting national security and deterring unlawful aggression, and Coinbase fully supports these efforts by government authorities.”
While cryptocurrency is still shrouded in controversy, it's good to see that even something like the Russian invasion of Ukraine can get everyone on the same side.