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TikTok, American Express and PwC suspend operations in Russia

TikTok has suspended all live streaming and content sharing on its platform in Russia, joining American Express and PricewaterhouseCoopers, to boycott the country amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  

The social media giant made the announcement,  in response to the country’s new controversial ‘fake news’ law, which threatens imprisonment for sharing what authorities consider to be false information. 

‘TikTok is an outlet for creativity and entertainment that can provide a source of relief and human connection during a time of war when people are facing immense tragedy and isolation,’ the company said they had ‘no choice’ but to suspend the services.  

The platform is not the first company to suspend its services in Russia. 

A company spokesperson said Netflix made the decision to suspend its service in Russia on Sunday.

Last week, Netflix temporarily stopped all future projects and acquisitions in Russia as it assessed the impact of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Netflix had earlier said it had no plans to add state-run channels to its Russian service, despite a regulation that would require it to distribute state-backed channels.

Also on Sunday, American Express and PricewatwerhouseCoopers (PwC) announced 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. 

Visa and Mastercard have also blocked multiple Russian financial institutions from their network, complying with government sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.  

Editing by Omotola Oguneye