TikTok and Netflix join long list of companies suspending service in Russia
Moscow, Russia - Netflix and TikTok have joined the ever-growing list of companies suspending or withdrawing their Russian operations over the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The media companies' decision come amid Russia's new "fake news" law that limits information about the Ukraine war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last Friday signed the law with jail terms of up to 15 years for anyone spreading false information about the Russian army and publicly calling for sanctions against Russia.
Netflix said it is shutting down all its operations in Russia.
Just days earlier, the streaming giant, with around 1 million users in Russia, reportedly had suspended all its future projects and acquisitions in the country on a temporary basis over the same concerns.
TikTok also said it was suspending livestreaming and new content to video service in Russia.
In a series of tweets, TikTok said, "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."
According to the company, though it is an outlet for creativity and entertainment to offer a source of relief and human connection during a time of war amid immense tragedy and isolation, the safety of employees and users remain its highest priority.
TikTok added that it will continue to evaluate the evolving circumstances in Russia to determine when to fully resume services with safety.
The great Russian media exodus
Major social media companies, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, have already blocked their services to Russia or quit their operations from the country over increasing pressure from the public as well as officials to act against Russia amid the ongoing Ukraine invasion.
Search giant Google suspended all advertising in Russia. The decision covers all Google's ad surfaces in Russia, including Google display advertising, YouTube, and search.
Russian internet watchdog, Roskomnadzor, recently had accused YouTube of running advertising campaigns to misinform Russian citizen about the country's invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, virtually all traces of the country's independent media have been erased.
Among others, tech majors Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp have suspended all sales and services in Russia, while payment companies Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc have decided to cease all transactions in the country.
Cover photo: Collage: 123RF/bernardojbp & strebkov & sasha85ru