Netflix, TikTok Suspend Operations In Russia
Netflix logo displayed on a phone screen and Russian flag displayed on a screen in the background are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on March 1, 2022.
Photo Illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Netflix and TikTok announced on Sunday that they have suspended their services inside Russia following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

“Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia,” a spokesperson for Netflix said in a statement.

The Verge added:

Last week, Netflix said it wouldn’t comply with a new Russian law that requires large streamers to host 20 Russian propaganda channels, such as NTV and the state-backed Channel One. The streaming giant later announced that it’s halting all productions and acquisitions in Russia — Netflix had been working on four Russian originals at the time. According to Bloomberg, Netflix currently has around 1 million subscribers in Russia.

TikTok announced on Sunday that it was suspending its services inside Russia for safety reasons.

“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,” the company said in a statement. “However, our highest priority is the safety of our employees and our users, and in light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law, we have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service in Russia while we review the safety implications of this law. Our in-app messaging service will not be affected. We will continue to evaluate the evolving circumstances in Russia to determine when we might fully resume our services with safety as our top priority.”

Numerous financial services companies announced over the weekend that they were suspending operations in Russia due to the invasion.

American Express announced on Sunday that they were suspending all operations in Russia because of its “unjustified attack on the people of Ukraine”:

As a result, globally issued American Express cards will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia. Additionally, cards issued locally in Russia by Russian banks will no longer work outside of the country on the American Express global network. We are also terminating all business operations in Belarus. This is in addition to the previous steps we have taken, which include halting our relationships with banks in Russia impacted by the U.S. and international government sanctions. 

 Over the past few weeks, we have been working hard to back our colleagues and customers in these countries. While this decision will have an impact on them, we will continue to do what we can to support them. One of our company values is to “Do What is Right.” This principle has guided us throughout this difficult crisis and will continue to do so, as we stand by our colleagues, customers, and the international community in hoping for a peaceful resolution to this crisis.

PayPal announced on Saturday that it was also suspending operations in Russia with Dan Schulman, PayPal’s chief executive, saying in a statement, “Under the current circumstances, we are suspending PayPal services in Russia.”

Visa and Mastercard announced on Saturday that they also suspended all operations in Russia following the invasion.

“Effective immediately, Visa will work with its clients and partners within Russia to cease all Visa transactions over the coming days,” Visa said in a statement. “Once complete, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country and any Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work within the Russian Federation.”

Mastercard said in a statement that it was suspending its operations after “the world has watched the shocking and devastating events resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

It’s with all of this in mind – and noting the unprecedented nature of the current conflict and the uncertain economic environment – we have decided to suspend our network services in Russia,” Mastercard said in a statement. “This decision flows from our recent action to block multiple financial institutions from the Mastercard payment network, as required by regulators globally. With this action, cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by the Mastercard network. And, any Mastercard issued outside of the country will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs.”

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