Amazon cuts off Russia & Belarus
Online retail behemoth Amazon has stopped shipping retail products to customers in Russia and Belarus, the company announced in a blog post on Tuesday. It will also no longer stream Prime content in Russia, and declared it will no longer take new Russian or Belarusian customers for Amazon Web services or allow anyone from those countries to become third-party sellers.
The single game – ‘New World’ – that Amazon sells in Russia will no longer be taking new orders, either.
All this is a major contrast to what Amazon is doing for Ukraine, including donating $5 million to “support those impacted,” matching the donations of “over 10,000 employees,” and partnering with a swarm of NGOs to ferry the hefty fundraising sums to the country, where it is supposed to end up in the hands of the aid groups Save the Children and the Red Cross.
Jeff Bezos’ empire doesn’t have any data centers, infrastructure, or offices in Russia, as the company’s own statement pointed out, so apparently it didn’t have many employees to lay off, and it’s not clear how much business the company actually did with Russian customers – even during the pandemic, when Amazon made up fully half of online shopping dollars spent in the US, Russians preferred domestic online retailers, such as Ozon and Wildberries.
Ozon, a Russian e-commerce site that has been termed the “Russian Amazon,” was so successful after a year of pandemic lockdowns it began trading on American stock exchanges before the financial sanctions levied in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine made it impossible to trade in the US as of late last month, but the company continues to do business at home.