Microsoft Corp. said it’s suspending all new sales of products and services in Russia. It does so as it condemns the country’s “unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion” of Ukraine.
The United States tech giant also said it’s working closely with governments of the U.S., European Union and United Kingdom and stopping many aspects of its business in Russia in compliance with coordinated sanctions rules.
“We will take additional steps as this situation continues to evolve,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a blog post. Microsoft Corp. ranks No. 94 in Digital Commerce 360’s 2021 Top 1000 Online Retailers Report.
Microsoft said its “single most impactful area of work almost certainly is the protection of Ukraine’s cybersecurity.”
The company will help officials in Ukraine defend against Russian attacks, such as a recent one against a major Ukrainian broadcaster. Earlier this week, Microsoft said it was removing the news apps of Russia’s state-controlled news agency, RT, from its app store.
The EU, U.S. and U.K. have compiled an extensive list of sanctions to isolate the country, financially, economically and technologically. Beyond concerns about the war, operating in Russia has become challenging for outside companies. Sanctions and a U.S. ban on transactions with the country’s central bank both play a factor. Beside Microsoft, several U.S. tech companies have pulled out of Russia in recent days.
Other tech companies pull out
Apple Inc. (No. 3 in the 2021 Top 1000 Online Retailers Report) has halted sales of the iPhone and other popular products in Russia and removed the RT News and Sputnik News applications from App Stores outside the country. Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube said it will stop running advertisements on channels from Russian state-backed media and certain other accounts. Intel Corp. is suspending all shipments to customers in Russia and Belarus, which is allied with Russia.
Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said he expects even more tech companies to “pull the plug on Russia by this weekend given the horrific atrocities seen coming out of Ukraine.”
In a note to investors on Friday, Ives said he expects the pullback to have a minimal impact on the U.S. tech industry. He said even in a worst-case scenario, a wholesale retreat would amount to a 1% to 2% hit to revenue.
“This is a move the Street would gladly applaud given the heartbreaking Ukraine invasion by Russia that is playing out in front of the world’s eyes,” Ives wrote.
FedEx suspends all service to Russia, Belarus as war intensifies
FedEx Corp. has suspended all services in Russia and Belarus as fighting intensifies following the invasion of Ukraine.
It had only stopped inbound service to Russia earlier. Now, it has halted all package movements including domestic deliveries in both Russia and Belarus, according to an employee memo. The company had also suspended services to Ukraine.
“We are deeply disturbed by what’s happening, and our thoughts and solidarity are with the people affected by this ongoing violence,” the company said in the letter signed by CEO Fred Smith and Chief Operating Officer Raj Subramaniam.