As Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, the fallout from outside the warzone continues. As Big Tech took action by pulling sales from Russia, authorities in the country have been hitting back. Now, Google Russia is filing for bankruptcy after authorities seized its bank account.
Speaking to Reuters, a Google spokesperson said the filing comes because the company cannot pay expenses, staff, or vendors in the country:
“The Russian authorities seizure of Google Russia's bank account has made it untenable for our Russia office to function, including employing and paying Russia-based employees, paying suppliers and vendors, and meeting other financial obligations
Google Russia has published a notice of its intention to file for bankruptcy.”
Following the invasion of Ukraine, major brands ranging from Microsoft to Coca-Cola have stopped sales in Russia. Google chose its own punishment in Russia, including suspending all payments on Google Play Store.
Russia Hits Back
Russia responded by making its own app store and by seizing Google Russia's bank accounts. While not substantiated, a Russian TV channel reported in April that 1 billion rubles (around $15 million) had been frozen in Google Russia's accounts.
While Google is battling with Russian authorities, the company says its free services like Maps and Gmail are still available in the country. Russia says it will not actively block these services, including YouTube.
Under normal circumstances, Google would be able to flow money into Russia, but at the moment this is not possible. That means all paid services in the country are now unavailable. It is likely this will remain the case for the foreseeable future.
Tip of the day: Need to create an ad-hoc network from your PC? In our tutorial we show you how to easily create a shareable wireless internet connection in Windows as a free WIFI hotspot.