In a move of solidarity and support, Apple has stopped sales of the majority of products in Russia.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine gets worse, the international business community continues to put pressure on President Vladimir Putin by halting production and pulling products from the country. The latest company to join these sanctions is Apple which says they stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence.
According to CNN Business, Apple paused all sales of its products last Tuesday (March 1st) as they were deeply concerned about the Russian invasion. The tech giant said it will be limiting access to digital services, like Apple Pay, within the Eastern European country. They have also restricted the availability of Russian state media applications outside the country.
Following the groundbreaking decision, Apple released a statement that said, “Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country. Apple Pay and other services have been limited. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia,” the statement read. The company has also disabled traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine. This was done as a safety and protective measure for the Ukrainian people.
Apple’s product halt came following a plea from Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov who believes the move could help turn young Russian folks against the invasion. He also asked the tech giant to close its local App Store. But this hasn’t happened yet, Bloomberg reports. However, the iPhone maker says they are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all they can to support their teams in the region.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time the tech conglomerate has pulled its products from a country. Last year, Apple briefly stopped sales in Turkey due to economic problems and currency fluctuation. But it was nothing compared to the move against Russia which will further isolate a country of approximately 145 million people. Following Apple’s announcement, the company’s shares dropped to session lows before recovering some of the losses. The stock fell by 1.2% for the day, closing at $163.20.
Other companies followed suit last week, as President Biden and other world leaders condemned Russia’s actions. Another popular United States brand to follow Apple was Nike Inc. The sporting brand also halted its sales in the region, saying it cannot guarantee the delivery of goods to customers. HP Inc, the largest supplier of computer equipment to Russia, also stopped exports to the country.
Updating folks on their decision, Apple said it will continue to evaluate the situation and that they are in communication with governments on the actions that it’s taking. “We join all those around the world who are calling for peace,” the company said via Reuters.
Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook also expressed his concern about the situation in Ukraine, without bringing up Russia at all. “I am thinking of the people who are in harm’s way right now and joining all those calling for peace,” he said in a post on social media.