Hong Kong gaming company Animoca Brands is suspending its services to Russian users as the Russia-Ukraine conflict rages on. Animoca co-founder and Chairman Yat Siu told Bloomberg that the move is based on legal advice given that Russia is now a sanctioned country. However Siu doesn’t expect it to have a huge impact on the company given it doesn’t have many users in the country.
Currently its unites Gamee and Lympo will be impacted. Lympo has already stopped its NFTs of Russian athletes and suspended all ongoing talks around the deal. Meanwhile, reports also say Animoca will also stop selling its shares to Russian investors.
Animoca Brands is one of the few major crypto-related business which have taken a stand to halt its services with many crypto brands such as Binance and Kraken still reportedly continued to serve Russian users. This is despite Ukrainian vice prime minister asking for cryptocurrency exchanges to block addresses of Russian users.
Animoca Brands is joining a list of international companies that have taken action against Russia as a result of the recent invasion. Some tech companies stopped their services. For example, Microsoft is banning all ads from RT and Sputnik across its ad network and will not place any ads from its network on those sites. Microsoft will also not display any state-sponsored RT and Sputnik content. Additionally, it is removing RT news apps from its Windows app store and further de-rank these sites' search results on Bing so that it will only return RT and Sputnik links when a user clearly intends to navigate to those pages.
Microsoft is also doubling down on cyberattacks against Ukraine. Several hours before the launch of missiles or movement of tanks on February 24, Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center detected a new round of offensive and destructive cyberattacks directed against Ukraine’s digital infrastructure. It immediately advised the Ukrainian government about the situation, including its identification of the use of a new malware package. Microsoft will also continue to share appropriate information with NATO officials in Europe and American officials in Washington.
Netflix will not carry 20 Russian free-to-air propaganda channels, including Channel One, NTV, and Spa, Variety reported. Last year, Russian regulator Roskomnadzor instructed Netflix to register for its audiovisual services because the platform had reached over 100,000 subscribers. As a result, Netflix is required as part of the Vitrina TV law, to air 20 "must-carry" free-to-air Russian news, sports, and entertainment TV channels, Variety explained.
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Comparison: How the US and Chinese media are covering the Russia-Ukraine conflict
Russia-Ukraine conflict: A running list of brands taking action