Apple Terminates Developer License In Crimea
Tensions raised as a result of political differences between the U.S. and Russia are affecting the tech industry as well. Apple sent out termination notices to developers whose accounts are found to be registered in the disputed region of Crimea. The move cuts off developers from creating or publishing apps in the App Store.
Apple has mentioned in the notice that the termination is effective immediately and requires the developers to cease all use of Apple software. It has also blocked access to its developer portal in Crimea. The notice is published in more than one places, which also included Russian-language tech site Habrahabr.
The termination notice cites sanctions ordered by the U.S. against Crimea as a response of it becoming part of Russian Federation from Ukraine. The dispute over Autonomous Republic of Crimea created tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and U.S. sided with Ukraine against Russian offensive movements.
Apple has not revealed much details about the notice yet, apart from the notice itself. What we understand from the notice is that developers who have their accounts located in region of Crimea will be affected by the termination. If they move their account from Crimea to any other region, either Russian or Ukranian, they will theoretically be able to join RAD program again.
US President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order on December 19, which describes additional steps to address Russian occupation of Crimea. In addition to technology, US has prohibited other items and activities as well.
These include importation “directly or indirectly, of any goods, services, or technology from the Crimea region of Ukraine”; and “the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any goods, services, or technology to the Crimea region of Ukraine”.
This isn’t the first time Apple has given cold shoulder to Russia.
Last month, Apple closed its online store in Russia as the value of Ruble fluctuated. The stores were reopened after few days with prices up by 35 percent, which was huge considering the fact that Apple products are already priced very high for an average consumer.
Although Apple has seen profits increased marginally, some markets still carry potential for the company and Russia is one of them. But Russian government is a pain for tech companies, not only for Apple, but others as well. Their measures like tracking data on websites has resulted in some sites like Github getting blocked.