The tech giant Apple said on Tuesday that they had stopped exporting products into the country’s sales channel last week, ahead of pausing sales. It’s also removing the RT News and Sputnik News applications from App Stores outside of Russia and has disabled traffic and live-incident features in Ukraine as a “safety and precautionary measure” for citizens there.
The move represents the most dramatic action a Big Tech company has taken to economically squeeze Russia. It comes as governments in the U.S. and Europe along with a growing list of companies, including ExxonMobil and Volkswagen, have acted to isolate Russia as it escalates its conflict in Ukraine.
In addition to halting the sale of all Apple products inside of Russia, the company’s popular payment service, Apple Pay, is being limited in the country, according to a company spokesman.
Apple’s move affects online sales, since Apple does not operate any physical stores in Russia, where iPhones are the third-most popular smartphone. Apple’s phones lag behind Xiaomi and Samsung in national sales in Russia, according to research firm IDC.