Google has filed for bankruptcy in Russia, citing the seizing of its local bank account by the Russian authorities. According to the tech giant, this means that its local office will no longer be able to operate.
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“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,” said a Google spokesperson in a statement.
“Google Russia has published a notice of its intention to file for bankruptcy. People in Russia rely on our services to access quality information and we’ll continue to keep free services such as Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Android and Play available.”
Early in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, YouTube, which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet, demonetised Russian state-sponsored channels, lowering recommendations and limiting access from within Ukraine. Following the Russian government’s accusation that Google was providing ads containing allegedly incorrect information about the invasion, Google suspended all advertising in the country.
However, Google’s services in Russia continued to function normally, and the company has since stated that this will continue even after its Russian headquarters closes.
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The reason given by the Russian authorities for taking Google’s bank account is unclear.
Whatever the reason, it appears that stopping much of Google’s Russian commercial operations to stop ads about Ukraine may not have been enough to win the Russian government’s favor.