Russia threatens to nationalize Apple, seize assets

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What you need to know

  • Apple is under the threat of nationalization in Russia.
  • Russia is planning to seize the assets of 59 major foreign brands that have stopped operations in the country.
  • It could see companies like Apple, McDonald's, Microsoft, and others placed under external management, nationalized, and more.

Multiple reports indicate that Russia is threatening to nationalize companies that have stopped operations in the country, including Apple.

From CNN:

Russia said it could seize the assets of Western companies that have suspended operations in the country.Dozens of American, European and Japanese companies from almost every sector of the economy have abandoned joint ventures, factories, stores and offices in the last two weeks in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the ensuring sanctions

Vladimir Putin reportedly told government officials on Thursday that Russia was considering plans to introduce "external management" to companies that had stopped operating in the country as a result of its invasion of Ukraine. That would include Apple, as well as companies like Microsoft, IBM, McDonald's, IKEA, and more. Putin reportedly said "We need to act decisively with those [companies] who are going to close their production... it is necessary, then ... to introduce external management and then transfer these enterprises to those who want to work."

The measures could see the accounts and assets of such companies seized, or could see them placed under external management or nationalized. Apple does not operate any retail stores or manufacturing in the country, but does have staff located in the country including a corporate office opened in February to comply with government law.

A multitude of companies, including Apple, have stopped operating in Russia as a direct response to its invasion of Ukraine. Russia has responded with its own measures, including banning many Western media outlets and apps including Instagram, which will go dark from Monday, March 14. Apple has stopped selling products in the country through its online store, and has de-platformed state-sponsored news outlets Russia Today and Sputnik. It means devices like Apple's best iPhone, the iPhone 13, are not available to purchase through the company's website. Third-party resellers who are still operating have increased their prices by 50% since the invasion began.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9