Apple has halted exports to its Russian sales channel.
Apple took several big actions to support Ukraine in its current confrontation with Russia. To begin, the business stated that it only offers limited services in the region, such as Apple Pay, and that it is ceasing “all exports through our sales channel” in Russia.
Apple acknowledged in a statement to BuzzFeed that it no longer supports Russian bank Novikombank, rendering Apple Pay virtually useless for most Russian users. Russian customers have reported having problems using Apple Pay to pay for things while travelling abroad.
Outside of Russia, Apple has rendered RT News and Sputnik News, two state-owned news organisations, unavailable for download from the App Store. As safety and precautionary measure for citizens in Ukraine, Apple Maps has blocked traffic and live incidents.
After Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook, requesting that he “stop delivering Apple services and products to the Russian Federation,” Apple made their decision.
Cook expressed his viewpoint to his employees in a letter, emphasising the importance of people all around the world “coming together to advance the cause of peace” and the importance of not losing sight of humanity.
This is what the letter said:
I’d like to take a moment to speak on Ukraine’s ongoing crisis.
I know I speak for everyone at Apple when I say that we are deeply concerned for people who have been affected by the violence. We see how vital it is for people all around the world to work together to advance the cause of peace with each fresh image of families leaving their homes and heroic citizens fighting for their lives.
Apple is giving to humanitarian relief efforts and assisting with the refugee catastrophe that is occurring. We’re also collaborating with others to see what else we can do. Many of you, I’m sure, are eager to find ways to contribute, and we’d like to help you maximise the impact of your contributions. Apple will match your donations at a 2:1 rate for eligible organisations starting today, and this will be retroactive for donations made to those organisations since February 25. To learn more, go to the Employee Giving Portal.
We are striving to provide assistance to our teams in Ukraine and throughout the region. We’ve been in touch with each employee in Ukraine, aiding them and their family in any way we can. Please contact [redacted] if any of our Ukrainian team members are located outside of the country and require assistance. Also, any employee in need of assistance should go to the People site to see what options are available. We are also taking further steps as a firm. All product sales in Russia have been halted. We halted all exports into our country’s sales channel last week. Other services, such as Apple Pay, have been curtailed. Outside of Russia, RT News and Sputnik News are no longer accessible for download on the App Store. As safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens, we have blocked both traffic and live incidents on Apple Maps in Ukraine.
We’ll keep assessing the situation and keeping in touch with relevant governments on the steps we’re taking.
This moment necessitates togetherness, courage, and a reminder that we must never lose sight of our common humanity. In these trying times, it gives me comfort to know that we are all committed to each other, our users and being a positive force in the world.