Senator warns foreign tech giants from delaying establishment of offices in Russia

If foreign tech giants delay the opening of their offices and the creation of legal entities in Russia, they will have to face enforcement actions, including an advertising ban, Chairman of the Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Commission on Information Policies and Media Relations Alexey Pushkov told TASS.

On Saturday, a law came into force in Russia, which obliges foreign IT companies with a daily audience of over 500,000 users to open offices or create legal entities in Russia. Russia’s mass media watchdog published the list of companies that must open offices in accordance with the law, which includes Google (Google Play, YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Chat, Gmail), Apple (iCloud, App Store, Apple Music), Meta Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp), Twitter, TikTok, Telegram, as well as Zoom, Viber, Spotify, Likeme Pte.Ltd. (Likee), Discord, Pinterest and Twitch.

“There have been no reports yet that any of the IT companies has opened an office in Russia. I expect that they will adopt a wait-and-see attitude. We are ready to give these companies time, say, two to three months, to implement the law’s requirements but they need to understand that attempts to delay the registration process will lead to enforcement measures, including a ban on advertising on their platforms and the suspension of money transfers to them,” Puskov pointed out.

He added that there was no information that any of the big tech companies was considering leaving the Russian market because of the new law. However, according to the senator, the tech behemoths will have to fulfill the requirements of the law or they will face “rather unpleasant decisions.”.