Russia votes to force U.S. tech giants to open local offices

Posted:
in General Discussion
Major tech companies like Apple must open offices in Russia by January 2022, lawmakers in the country have decided, in what could be a move to crack down on dissent and banned commentary online.




The vote on Thursday saw members of the Russian parliament pass legislation requiring foreign companies to either set up a local branch or open a Russian legal entity. Affected firms are those that serve more than half a million daily users from the country via their website, which would include Apple and most social networks and search engines.

While the legislation has passed through the lower house of parliament, it still has to be approved by the upper house and signed by President Vladimir Putin to be turned into a law. Reuters reports it is widely expected to pass through the upper house unscathed, and to be signed by Putin with no issues raised.

It is asserted by the bill's authors that there is a need to create a local branch, otherwise foreign websites will be outside of Russia's jurisdiction.

Websites and organizations that do not agree to the legislation and fail to set up a local office will face punitive measures, such as being designated as "non-compliant" on search engines, removed from search results entirely, or banned from advertising in the country.

The legislation is the latest attempt by the Russian government to assert its position on online matters and the tech industry.

In 2018, the country banned Telegram from the App Store, though Apple later allowed app updates to be released. The government also banned VPN apps in 2017, again affecting the App Store.

Meanwhile, in 2019, Apple moved to comply with a 2014 law requiring data on citizens to be stored on local servers. It was believed by critics that the storage of user data on servers in Russia would open the data up to abuse.

In April 2021, Apple was forced to include a selection of government-approved apps made in Russia on devices sold in the country.

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jahblade

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    jccjcc Posts: 300member
    I am fairly sure that if Apple pulled out of Russia, Putin would get blamed. I'm also fairly sure that the iPhone is more popular than Putin. So, the simple answer is for Apple to announce that they're pulling out of Russia and to ask their Russian customers to buy their devices out of other countries. Problem solved.
    repressthisjahbladekillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,736member
    Apple doesn't really have a presence in Russia, other than seeking their products via 3rd-party resellers.  If Apple is willing to open an office/store in China of all corrupt countries, and STILL doesn't do that in Russia, then good luck comrade.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 912member
    Fuck Russia. Fuck Putin. 
    repressthiskillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,521member
    Websites and organizations that do not agree to the legislation and fail to set up a local office will face punitive measures, such as being designated as "non-compliant" on search engines, removed from search results entirely, or banned from advertising in the country.
    Does Apple even advertise in Russia already? Will the Apple website itself be banned? How will either of the above punishments prevent users from buying Apple products?

    Russian companies do business in the US. Will Russia mind if Roscosmos has to open offices in America in order to sell Soyuz tickets to NASA?
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,330member
    jcc said:
    I am fairly sure that if Apple pulled out of Russia, Putin would get blamed. I'm also fairly sure that the iPhone is more popular than Putin. So, the simple answer is for Apple to announce that they're pulling out of Russia and to ask their Russian customers to buy their devices out of other countries. Problem solved.
    I doubt that. Russia has almost as much disdain for the West as China does, and Putin's approval rating - whether genuine is debatable - is approximately 70%. 70% of Russians do not own iPhones - iOS was 40% of the smartphone market in Russia in 2015, roughly 22% in 2020.
    killroy
  • Reply 6 of 11
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,471member
    Oh the problems multinational conglomerates like Apple have with countries like China, Russia, and the EU. Where do their loyalties lie? Where do their ethical standards end? Is the profit motive the overriding driver for their decisions? 
    muthuk_vanalingamkillroyFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 7 of 11
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 730member
    Im surprised They are not requiring a local election office there….
    igorskykillroy
  • Reply 8 of 11
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 583member
    mac_dog said:
    Fuck Russia. Fuck Putin. 
    As someone who was born in that region, I couldn't have said it better myself.
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 583member
    elijahg said:
    jcc said:
    I am fairly sure that if Apple pulled out of Russia, Putin would get blamed. I'm also fairly sure that the iPhone is more popular than Putin. So, the simple answer is for Apple to announce that they're pulling out of Russia and to ask their Russian customers to buy their devices out of other countries. Problem solved.
    I doubt that. Russia has almost as much disdain for the West as China does, and Putin's approval rating - whether genuine is debatable - is approximately 70%. 70% of Russians do not own iPhones - iOS was 40% of the smartphone market in Russia in 2015, roughly 22% in 2020.
    "Whether genuine is debatable"...maybe this is debatable towards Putin himself.  But what is genuine is that Russians want nothing but to have a strong daddy tell them what to do.  They don't even have dreams of freedom (aside from the very few like Navalny and his supporters).  That will always be more important to them than iPhones.
    edited June 21 jahbladekillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,720member
    The legislation is the latest attempt by the Russian government to assert its position on online matters and the tech industry.
    In Russia they have to work at it like this, in USA, Canada, etc. the social media and media just willingly comply somehow w/o even being asked.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    Russia needs Apple more than Apple needs Russia.
    watto_cobra
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