Netflix suspends service in Russia

A factory and a store burn after being bombarded in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, March 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Moscow (AP), March 7 – Netflix said Sunday that it’s suspending its service in Russia.

A statement from the company cited “circumstances on the ground” for its decision to suspend its Russian service but didn’t offer any additional details.

The announcement comes after TikTok said users on its platform in Russia have been blocked from posting and viewing videos shared from elsewhere in the world. American Express also announced earlier in the day it would suspend operations in Russia, as well as in Russian-allied Belarus.

TikTok said Sunday that users won’t be able to post new videos in Russia in response to the government’s crackdown on social media.

“In light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law, we have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service while we review the safety implications of this law,” the company said in a statement on Twitter. “Our in-app messaging service will not be affected.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday intensified a crackdown on media outlets and individuals who fail to hew to the Kremlin line on Russia’s war in Ukraine, blocking Facebook and Twitter and signing into law a bill that criminalizes the intentional spreading of what Moscow deems to be “fake” reports.

TikTok is part of the larger Chinese tech company ByteDance.

American Express announced Sunday it is suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus.

Globally issued American Express cards will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia, the company said in a statement. AmEx cards issued locally in Russia by the country’s banks will also no longer work outside of Russia.

The company previously halted its relationships with banks in Russia impacted by the U.S. and international government sanctions, the company said.

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