Google’s Russia subsidiary bankrupt
SAN FRANCISCO: Google’s Russia subsidiary is set to file for bankruptcy after its bank accounts were seized by Vladimir Putin’s government in the wake of the Ukraine war. The company said it is unable to pay salaries of over 100 employees as well as other bills.
The tech giant, however, said that it will continue to keep free services such as Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Android and Play available in the country.
Google’s Russia operation generated $2 billion in revenue last year. “Russian authorities’ seizure of Google Russia’s bank account has made it untenable for our Russia office to function, including employing and paying Russia-based employees, paying suppliers and vendors, and meeting other financial obligations,” the company said in a statement to The Registrar in May.
“Google Russia has published a notice of its intention to file for bankruptcy,” the company spokesperson added. Most employees have opted to move to Dubai as Google began relocating workers in March, just after Russia launched a full invasion on Ukraine.
The war has worsened already tense relations between Russia and the search giant. Google suspended its ad operations in Russia and halted advertising booked globally by Russian organizations.
Russian Android users can no longer purchase any apps and services via the Google Play Store. “We previously announced that we paused the vast majority of our commercial operations in Russia,” the Google spokesperson was quoted as saying. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has been under tremendous pressure in Russia for failing to delete alleged illegal content after the Ukraine war began on February 24.