Freezing sales, cracking down on apps, or suspensions of shipments have become the new norm for tech companies across the globe when it comes to Russia. This has been done by Google, Apple, Microsoft, and a host of other companies in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and now, South Korea’s Samsung has decided to suspend all shipments of products to Russia.
The company said that they had arrived at this decision due to the “current geopolitical developments” and would continue to actively monitor the situation to determine their next steps.
“Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted and our priority is to ensure the safety of all our employees and their families. We plan to actively support humanitarian efforts around the region, including aid for refugees,” the company said in a statement. To support the humanitarian efforts, it will be donating $6 million. This includes $1 million in consumer electronics products and voluntary donations from its employees.
This means that until Samsung reverses its decision on its own or is told to do so, no further shipments of Samsung products, which range from chips to smartphones and consumer electronics, to Russia will be made.
This will be a rather hard blow for the Russian smartphone market, which is led by Samsung. The South Korea-headquartered smartphone manufacturer holds nearly 26.6% of the market share, followed by Apple’s 23% and Xiaomi’s 19.9. Sales of smartphones in Russia account for nearly 4% of Samsung’s global revenue from the devices.
This move by Samsung comes after Mykhailo Fedorov, the vice PM and minister of digital transformation of Ukraine, took to Twitter on Friday once again to urge tech titans to take steps. In his letter to Jong Hee Han, vice chairman, and CEO of Samsung Electronics, Fedorov urged the behemoth to put a temporary halt to supplying Samsung products and services to Russia. The services mentioned include Samsung Pay, Samsung Shop, and Samsung-Galaxy Store.
“We want you to be part of history and help us in such an extraordinary situation,” the letter read, adding that there was no single solution that could stop the aggressor (referring to Russia), but the joint effort would help slow it down.
“We believe that such actions will motivate the youth and active population of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression. 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!” Fedorov wrote.