Apple stops selling all products in Russia as Tim Cook issues a lengthy statement to Apple employees
Apple has stopped selling products in Russia through its Online Store. As it stands, Apple allows people to view product specifications and learn more about them. However, all 'buy now' buttons navigate to the same splash screen that explains 'The Apple Store is currently closed'. Incidentally, Google and Nike have made similar changes to their services.
Additionally, Apple has announced that it has suspended all exports into its Russian sales channel, which should prevent third-party retailers from selling Apple products. Moreover, it has limited Apple Pay and other services, including Apple Maps. In a statement, Apple clarified that it had 'disabled both traffic and live incidents' to ensure Ukrainian citizen safety. The move coincides with the suspension of the RT News and Sputnik News apps from the App Store in all countries outside Russia.
Separately, Tim Cook has emailed his employees with the below statement. It is unclear when Apple will re-open its Russian e-commerce platform, nor what effect its changes will have. Incidentally, Apple's response appears to stem from a request from Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, not as a result of ongoing US sanctions.
I wanted to take a moment to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
I know I speak for everyone at Apple in expressing our concern for all of those affected by the violence. With each new image of families fleeing their homes and brave citizens fighting for their lives, we see how important it is for people around the world to come together to advance the cause of peace.
Apple is donating to humanitarian relief efforts and providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis. We are also working with partners to assess what more we can do. I know that many of you are eager to find ways to support as well, and we want to help amplify the impact of your donations. Starting today, Apple will match your donations at a rate of 2:1 for eligible organizations, and we will make this retroactive for donations to those organizations since February 25. Please visit the Employee Giving Portal to learn more.
We are working to support our teams in Ukraine and across the region. In Ukraine, we have been in contact with every employee, assisting them and their families in any way we can. For our Ukrainian team members located outside of the country that may need support, please contact [email protected] And for any employee who needs any support, please visit the People site for available resources.
As a company, we are taking additional actions as well. We have paused all product sales in Russia. Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country. Apple Pay and other services have been limited. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia. And we have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.
We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking.
This moment calls for unity, it calls for courage, and it reminds us that we must never lose sight of the humanity we all share. In these difficult times, I take comfort in knowing that we are united in our commitment to each other, to our users, and to being a force for good in the world.
I’ve contacted @tim_cook, Apple's CEO, to block the Apple Store for citizens of the Russian Federation, and to support the package of US government sanctions! If you agree to have the president-killer, then you will have to be satisfied with the only available site Russia 24. pic.twitter.com/b5dm78g2vS— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 25, 2022