Western tech giants have five weeks to open branches in Russia before sanctions applied – regulator
A total of 13 foreign tech companies, including Google and Apple, must open branches or legal entities in Russia before the year’s end in order to continue to operate advertising in the country, Moscow's regulator said on Monday.
The internet giants, including Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg’s newly created Meta Platforms, Inc., have about a month to comply with the requirements of a new Russian law demanding they establish a formal communication link with authorities and create a feedback form specifically for local users.
The legislation adopted in July orders foreign tech companies with over half a million daily users in Russia to register with the national media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, and integrate a specific access counter into their websites.
On Monday, the regulator issued a list of companies obliged to follow the new rules. They include Swedish-based audio streaming platform Spotify and popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, as well as several platforms like Zoom, Discord, and Telegram in addition to the American firms.
If the companies fail to comply with these requirements before the year’s end they might be barred from engaging with the Russian advertising market.
Roskomnadzor has already repeatedly punished foreign tech companies over their failure to comply with Russia’s laws. In early November, it reported that it had fined seven of them – including Facebook, Twitter, and Google – a combined total of $2.6 million for their failure to remove prohibited content this year alone.
However, not only foreign companies have faced the scrutiny of Roskomnadzor,. Russian social media networks Odnoklassniki and VKontakte have also been fined $56,000 and $42,000, respectively, for similar reasons.
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