Russia is demanding that Apple and other technology companies open local offices

Russia this week demanded that Apple and other U.S. technology companies open local offices by the end of 2021 if they want to continue working in the country. The Russian government is threatening to restrict and even ban companies that do not have an official representative office there.

As the first reported Reuters, state communications regulator Roskomnadzor on Monday shared a list of targeted companies and what exactly they need to do to meet Russia’s demands. Companies that do not meet the requirement to have local offices in Russia may be penalized by “restrictions on advertising, data collection and money transfers, or by total bans.”

The list of companies targeted by the Russian government includes Apple, Facebook, Google, TikTok, Twitter, and even Telegram. According to the report, this comes as an attempt by Russia to promote and strengthen its domestic technology sector in relation to American projects.

The country has already proposed taxes for foreign digital services, tax cuts for local IT companies, and even requirements for electronic devices sold in Russia to come with pre-installed Russian software. Roskomnadzor told Reuters that, in addition to having offices in Russia, companies must agree to “restrict access to information that violates Russian law.”

This, of course, puts companies in a difficult position because “information that violates Russian law” can basically mean censoring any information that opposes the Russian government. It is worth noting that Russia recently launched an antitrust lawsuit against Apple regarding the App Store, claiming that the company must “stop the abuse on the market.”

None of the companies mentioned by the Russian regulator Roskomnadzor has commented on this issue.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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