Russia demands Apple & other big tech firms establish physical presence in the country

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The Russian government has mandated that a group of foreign companies – including Apple – must establish a presence in the country by the end of 2021 or face restrictions and potential bans.

Russian state communications regulator Roskomnadzor issued the claim on Monday, indicating that 13 foreign companies are officially represented on Russian soil by the end of 2021. If companies do not comply, they will face restrictions or a direct ban. Reuters reported.

The list consists mostly of U.S. technology companies, including Apple, Alphabet’s Google, Facebook and Twitter. Other companies on the list include TikTok and the encrypted messaging company Telegram.

Back on July 1, a new law came into force in Russia that obliges social media giants with more than 500,000 daily users to open offices in Russia.

However, it is not clear what kind of representation or presence the new law dictates. Failure to comply with the law may result in advertising, data collection or money transfer restrictions as well as potential direct bans.

In 2021, Russia will fine many of the companies affected for refusing to delete content that it considers illegal. Apple, for its part, has faced antitrust charges in Russia.

The country has taken steps to promote its own technology sector over other countries. Earlier in 2021, Russia began requiring new smartphones sold within the country’s borders to be pre-installed with domestically produced software.

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