Google Cuts Off Crimea From Its Services After Apple and Others Did The Same
Technology companies have started complying with the sanctions imposed on Crimea by the US government. Google is the latest company to follow the order as it has blocked import and export of its tech products and services.
Multiple reports emerging from Russia state that Google has begun to block AdSense and AdWords accounts in the Crimea region, and it plans to block Google Play services as well. However, it will continue to provide access to free services like Google Search, Google+, Gmail and Maps.
Google’s decision to block its services in Crimea comes after Apple did the same; it terminated developer license in Crimea, taking back app development and publishing rights from the developers based in the region. Other companies to join the list include PayPal and Valve which cut off their services in the country.
But discontinuing Google’s services from the region will hurt the region more as Android devices are widely adopted by users, and Google is the main source for other web services.
Google has not officially revealed any details about the blockade of services. Russian press reports that Google is initially blocking paid services, specifically B2B products like AdSense and AdWords. Even if Google doesn’t block these services, it would not be able to collect any money out of the region as most of the international banks have stopped payments into and out of the country.
A source at Google confirmed Lenta.ru (via TechCrunch):
“Google’s prohibited from providing paid services in the Crimea. In addition, Google cannot make payments to anyone in the Crimea. It is now technically impossible, as almost all international banks have ceased to make payments.”
The U.S. sanctions order mentions that “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” should be blocked, and since loading applications can be considered exports, Google will start to limit access to apps in Google Play from February 1.
Tech companies started blocking their services in Crimea as a result of sanctions imposed by the US and the EU on the Crimea region. These sanctions were imposed to exert pressure on Russia that annexed the Ukrainian region. The US and EU support Ukraine in the conflict, and thus decided to put economical pressure on Russia by cutting off all imports and exports from the region.
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