Samsung Halts Product Shipments to Russia in Response to Ukraine Invasion

Samsung Electronics Co. has stopped shipments of everything from consumer electronics like smartphones and TVs to chips to Russia in light of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine — reports Bloomberg.

The Suwon, South Korea-based tech giant leads smartphone sales in Russia with a market share that’s slightly above 30%. Russia accounts for about 4% of the company’s global revenue from smartphones. Samsung also has a TV production plant in Kaluga, Russia.

“Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted and our priority is to ensure the safety of all our employees and their families,” Samsung said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. The company is donating $6 million USD, including $1 million in consumer electronics products, to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

According to a person familiar with the matter, Samsung is actively monitoring geopolitical developments in the region.

Tensions heightened on Friday after Ukraine said that Russian forces attacked a nuclear power plant in the southeast part of the country, raising the stakes in the war and triggering calls for an even more consequential international response to Russian aggression.

The EU, U.S. and U.K. have developed an extensive list of sanctions in order to cut Russia off, financially, economically and technologically, from the rest of the world. Canada is also part of these sanctions against Russia. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is currently visiting Europe for discussions on the matter.

With Samsung suspending product shipments to Russia, the company joins a growing list of tech giants and companies including Apple, Microsoft, Intel, and AMD that are halting sales and services in the country as a direct response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Apple on Tuesday suspended product sales in Russia and exports to Russian sales channels, removed RT News and Sputnik News from the App Stores outside Russia, and disabled traffic and live incident updates in Apple Maps. The Apple Maps and Weather apps also now mark Crimea as part of Ukraine.

In an internal email, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company would match donations made by employees to humanitarian efforts in the region 2:1.

Microsoft on Friday condemned Russia’s “unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion” of Ukraine as it suspended all new sales of products and services in Russia. Intel and AMD have both stopped shipping semiconductors to Russia, while HP Inc., the largest supplier of PCs to Russia, has stopped exports to the country as well.

Ahead of Samsung’s announcement, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister and head of digital operations, sent a letter to Samsung Vice Chairman Han Jong-hee, urging the company to temporarily suspend sales and services in Russia.

“We believe that such actions will motivate the youth and active population of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression,” Fedorov said in the letter, which was shared on his Twitter account on Friday.

“We need your support — in 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers and missiles targeting residential neighborhoods, kindergartens, and hospitals. Stay with Ukraine and save millions of innocent lives!”

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