Apple, Nike and Google join brands limiting services

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Apple has become the latest major firm to halt all product sales in Russia, in a widening corporate backlash to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The tech giant was said it was “deeply concerned” about the Russian invasion and stands with those “suffering as a result of the violence”.

Apple Pay and other services such as Apple Maps have also been limited.

Nike did not comment on the conflict but customers are no longer able to order its products online.

An automated message said Nike was halting online orders because it could not guarantee delivery of goods to customers in Russia.

However, the website directed customers to their nearest Nike stores.

One Ukrainian member of parliament, Lesia Vsylenko, tweeted that the sportswear giant’s move was a great example of how private companies could impose sanctions against Russia.

A series of high profile brands have pulled back from Russia in recent days, including film studios, carmakers and technology firms.

Google has removed Russian state-funded publishers such as RT from its features.

Mobile banking apps in Russian, such as Russia’s VTB Bank’s app, may soon not function fully on devices using Apple’s iOS operating system, according to news agency RIA.

Apple said in a statement that the firm had disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a “safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens”.

Last week, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov published an open letter to Apple on Twitter, in which he asked Apple to cut Russia off from its products, services, and App Store.

Apple’s iPhones are the third best-selling smartphone in Russia, supplying about 13% of all the handsets sold last year,according to market research firm CounterpointHowever that represents less than 2% of Apple’s global iPhone sales.

Earlier, Google restricted news firms funded by the Russian government from advertising tools and some features on YouTube.

“We are committed to complying with all sanctions requirements and we continue to monitor the latest guidance,” the company wrote in a blog post.

The company also told the BBC that Google Pay had been limited in the country – for those using sanctioned banks. Google has not, however, blocked Google Pay in Russia.

Google also said “most of our services (like Search, Maps and YouTube) currently remain available in Russia, continuing to provide access to global information and perspectives.”

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