11/24/2021 at 12:02 CET
Russia is getting serious with its demands that foreign tech companies establish themselves within its borders. The country’s telecommunications company, Roskomnadzor, has asked 13 foreign companies, mostly American, to establish official Russian headquarters by 2022 so they can comply with a law that came into force on July 1. The list includes familiar tech names like Apple, Google, Meta (Facebook), Telegram, TikTok and Twitter.
The law requires local offices for “Internet companies” with more than 500,000 daily users. However, some of the companies already have offices and it is not clear what constitutes an official presence. Those found to be in violation of the law They may be subject to outright bans or limits on their ads, data collection, and money transfers.
The concern is that Russia could use the law to exert more control over those companies and their content. Russia has clashed with Apple several times, for example, including a fine for abusing the monopolistic status of the App Store; this law could give officials more influence. The move could also help Russia pressure companies to censor content the government finds objectionable.such as posts on social media supporting political opposition to the Putin regime.
The ad makes a complicated situation is much more difficult. Russia is an important market that some companies can’t always afford to loseBut complying with the request could also mean allowing censorship and other rights abuses. Companies may soon have to make painful decisions regardless of the outcome.
On the other hand, there is the view that Russia only wants companies to invoice the profits made in the country, within the country. Until now, as with Europe, they invoice their profits in places where it is much cheaper than in the real place where the company operates.