Global brands boycott Russia – including Apple, Ford, Nike and Disney
Global brands such as Apple, Ford, Nike, Disney and Warner Bros are stopping sales in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
Apple, the world’s most valuable brand, said that it stopped exporting products into Russia last week, ahead of pausing sales.
In a statement, the US tech giant said it will stand “with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence”.
According to CNN, Apple has also limited access to digital services such as Apple Pay in Russia, removed RT and Sputnik News from Apple Store, and disabled traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety measure.
Western companies are shifting focus from operational concerns – such as keeping Ukraine-based staff safe and paying staff in Russia – to questions around reputational risk, reports the FT.
Steven Fox, founder and chief executive of Veracity Worldwide, which works with clients in Russia, told the FT that consumer brands were looking “to be seen to be doing something before being pressured by clients or on social media”.
Ford has suspended operations in the region until further notice, while Nike paused orders through its website and mobile app.
Boeing said it would suspend large operations in Russia, as well as the provision of parts, maintenance and technical support for Russian airlines.
Walt Disney and Warner Bros delayed the release of new films in Russian cinemas earlier in the week.
Bloomberg reports that decisions to exit Russia pull the curtain on decades of lucrative, if sometimes fraught, investments from western companies.
Russia’s largest foreign investor, BP Plc, announced on Sunday that it would exit its 20% stake in state-controlled Rosneft – a move that could result in a $25bn write-off and cut its global oil and gas production by a third.
Other oil and gas companies – including Shell, Equinor ASA and France’s TotalEnergies – have also said they are withdrawing from Russia to some extent.