Google was forced to file for bankruptcy in Russia after Russian authorities seized its bank account and made it virtually impossible for the company to continue operations in the country.
Google‘s Russian subsidiary, an Alphabet Group company, plans to file for bankruptcy after authorities seized its bank account, in an apparent escalation of the Kremlin’s push to cut off Russians from information about Ukraine’s invasion of Ukraine. the country. The Russian arm of Google said it made 134.3 billion rubles ($2 billion) in Russia in 2021 and employed more than 100 workers.
The recent seizure of Google’s Russian bank account “made it impossible to operate our office in Russia; including hiring and paying Russian-based employees, paying suppliers and vendors, and meeting other financial obligations”, a Google spokesperson told Reuters. The company simply had no choice but to file for bankruptcy.
For several months now, the Russian branch of Google has been under pressure in Russia for not removing content that Moscow deemed illegal and for restricting access to YouTube for certain Russian media. As a reminder, Russia had, for example, accused Google of spreading fake news and fined it 126,000 euros. Although Russia has banned Google News for broadcasting “unreliable” information about the war in Ukraine; the Kremlin has so far failed to completely block access to the company’s services.
Google files for bankruptcy in Russia after the seizure of its bank account
Like many other companies, Google suspended most of its business operations in Russia after that country invaded Ukraine in February. Despite this and the bankruptcy filing, the company will continue to provide Russians with access to free services; such as Google Search, YouTube, Gmail and Maps for the time being.
The Play Store on Android is also maintained, but it is recalled that users are currently unable to purchase apps, as Google has suspended all payment services as part of its response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
A Google spokesman previously said that the company is not going to leave Russia. It will continue its activities, even despite the initiated bankruptcy and the closure of the regional office.
“Some time ago, Google suspended the vast majority of commercial operations in the country. Today we announce that the seizure of the Google Russia bank account has made it impossible for the functioning of our Russian office; including the retention of employees and the payment of labor in Russia; the payment of suppliers and contractors, as well as the fulfillment of other financial obligations , ”said a Google representative.
“At the same time, we know that people in Russia rely on our services to access quality information; and we will continue to provide free services such as Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Android and Play to our users;” he noted.