Few ICT companies do business in Russia

Since the invasion of Ukraine, more than a thousand companies, many from the ICT sector, have restricted their business activities in Russia in addition to international sanctions. Yet for some it remains ‘business-as-usual’. This is according to a recent update from the renowned American university Yale.

Researchers at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute (CELI) are keeping track of companies leaving Russia. They distinguish between five categories; from companies that simply continue to companies that have cut all ties to Russia.

ICT companies that have completely withdrawn from Russia include Accenture, Atos, Avid, Cisco, DXC, Global Foundries, GoDaddy, HP Enterprise, HP Inc., IBM, Infosys, Luxoft, Nokia, NTT Data, RedHat, Siemens , Slack, TeamViewer, Teradata and Uber. The Dutch MessageBird has also closed access to APIs for Russia. Text and voice traffic to Russian telecommunications providers will be blocked.

Loss of reputation

There are also companies that so far have not announced (almost) no changes. AnyDesk Software, Cadence, Eutelsat, Fujifilm, Haier, Honor, MSI, Oki, Oppo, Tencent and ZTE do not seem to fear losing reputation. Cloudflare says it adheres to the sanctions policy, but continues sales and services. Philips is also still selling online to Russia, according to Yale.

Between these extremes, Yale distinguishes between three categories of firms that occupy an intermediate position. The first is a category of companies that put their investment plans on hold. This group remains more or less active. Ingram Micro no longer starts new activities. Lenovo and Xiaomi are said to have suspended their activities. Toshiba is no longer making new investments.

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“60,000 to 80,000 ICT workers have left Russia after the invasion”

In addition, there are companies that have screwed down a bit here and there, but continue other activities as usual. Many large technology companies are in this category. Google’s parent company Alphabet has withdrawn from all operations in Moscow. Many Russian employees have moved to Dubai. The survivors have since left the company. Google was also unable to pay its staff because the Russian authorities blocked Google’s bank accounts. New customers are no longer accepted. Ads have stopped. However, some services are still up and running.

In March last year, Moscow also shut down Facebook and Instagram. The Russians called Meta an extremist organization because Messenger users in Ukraine allegedly called for violence against Russian soldiers in telephone conversations. Microsoft’s business is stagnating. The company no longer signs new sales contracts or subscriptions to, for example, Office 365. According to Yale, existing customers will continue to have access to its services. Adobe and Okta do much the same thing.

SAP stops sales. Customers no longer have access to the cloud with a few exceptions. For many software from Microsoft and SAP, the Russians are now dependent on Russian alternatives. However, they do not cover all functionality. Open source software is also gaining ground. Avaya waives new maintenance and support agreements. TomTom has closed the ‘live traffic’ service in Russia. Some customers have been said goodbye. Elsevier and Wolters Kluwer provide medical information only.

The departure of foreign companies is of course of great importance for the employment of ICT specialists. According to Russian economist Natalia Zubarevich, 60,000 to 80,000 ICT workers have traveled after the Russian invasion. Many have emigrated to Georgia and Armenia, mostly for fear of being drafted into the military.

All options open

There is also a large group of ICT companies that have temporarily frozen most or almost all of their operations. However, that group does not rule out a long-term return to Russia. They keep all options open.

Acer, ADP, Akamai, Amazon, AMD, Amdocs, Analog Devices, Ansys, Apple, ARM, Asus, Atlassian, Autodesk, Avast, Bentley Systems, BitDefender, Blackberry, BMC, Canon, Canonical, Capgemini, Citrix, Cogent, Coupa, Dassault, Dell, Diebold Nixdorf, DJI, Ericsson, Fortinet, Fujitsu, Grammarly, Graphisoft, Hexagon, Indeed, Infineon, Intel, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Kingston, Kodak Alaris, Kyocera, Leica, Lexmark, LG, Logitech, Marvell, Mastercard , Micron, MongoDB, Motorola, Namecheap, NCR, NEC, NetApp, Niantic, Norton, Nutanix, Nvidia, NXP, Olympus, ON24, OpenText, Oracle, PagerDuty, Payoneer, Paypal, PTC, Qlik, Qualcomm, Remitly, Ricoh, Samsung , Synopsys, Trimble, Twitter, UIPath, Veeam, Visa, VMWare, Weka, Wise, Xerox and Zendesk.

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