Netflix has completely withdrawn its services from Russia, joining other companies on the list. In the latest move by a Western company to leave Russia because of the conflict in Ukraine, Netflix subscribers in Russia no longer have access to the service. On Friday, the Netflix Russia website and apps stopped working, and a Netflix representative confirmed that subscribers no longer had access.
“This is the end of the decision to leave the Russian market,” a Netflix spokesperson told AFP on Monday. This decision was made in March. After Russia sent thousands of troops into pro-Western Ukraine, the US-based platform said at the beginning of March that it was leaving Russia.
The company waited until the end of the current billing cycle to cut off customers, the spokesperson said. Netflix is the most popular streaming service in the world, with 221.8 million subscribers by the end of 2021. In Russia, however, it was not as popular.
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In an April letter to shareholders, the company said that it had lost 70,000 paid subscribers because it had left Russia. This was the first time in ten years that the number of subscribers around the world had gone down.
Since the start of Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine on February 24, a number of foreign companies, including Netflix Russia, have said they will stop doing business in Russia or just leave the country.
Back in March, Netflix and TikTok stopped most of their services in Russia because the government was cracking down on what people and media outlets could say about Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Cutting off online entertainment and information is likely to make the country and its people, even more, cut off from the rest of the world. This is because a growing number of multinational companies have already cut Russia off from important financial services, technology, and a wide range of consumer products in response to Western economic sanctions and global outrage over the invasion of Ukraine.
Visa, Mastercard, and American Express all said on the first weekend of March that they would stop working in Russia. Samsung, a major maker of both smartphones and computer chips in South Korea, said it would stop sending products to the country. It will join other big tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Intel, and Dell in doing so.
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