Apple pauses product sales in Russia after Ukraine invasion

Customers can still access Apple’s online store but attempts to buy an iPhone show they are unavailable for delivery

Apple has halted sales of its products in Russia in response to the military offensive against Ukraine. Reuters

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Apple has paused all product sales and limited the functionality of other services in Russia, in the latest fallout over Moscow’s military offensive against Ukraine.

Western governments, sporting organisations and companies have cut Russia off or dealt it punishing sanctions over its internationally condemned attack on Ukraine.

“We have paused all product sales in Russia. Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country,” Apple said on Tuesday.

Big Tech companies, including Facebook, TikTok and Microsoft, have already moved to curb the reach of Russian state-linked news outlets in an effort to prevent misinformation about Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Monday, Facebook parent Meta said it would restrict access to RT and Sputnik in the European Union.

Meanwhile, video-sharing app TikTok told AFP it had restricted Russian state-owned media access on its platform in the EU, while Microsoft said it was removing RT from its app store and would change the algorithm of its search engine Bing to move RT and Sputnik content lower in results.

Twitter and Facebook have both been hit with access restrictions in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine and are now “largely unusable”, according to web monitoring group NetBlocks.

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The iPhone maker also limited Apple Pay and the functionality of other services, and said Russian state-owned media RT and Sputnik news apps were no longer available for download outside Russia.

On Tuesday, users in Russia were still able to access Apple’s online store but attempts to buy an iPhone showed they were not available for delivery.

“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” Apple said.

“We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis.”

The company has also disabled both traffic and “live incidents” in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety measure for Ukrainian citizens.

“We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking. We join all those around the world who are calling for peace,” Apple said.

Updated: March 02, 2022, 7:56 AM