PayPal, Inditex, Samsung join firms suspending Russia operations

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More global brands joined the long and growing list of companies suspending operations in Russia on Saturday as protests over the country’s invasion of Ukraine and uncertainty over the effects of sanctions loom.

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Samsung Electronics said it has stopped shipments to Russia amid Moscow’s attack on Ukraine. The deliveries have been suspended “due to current geopolitical developments,” Samsung said in its statement.

“We continue to actively monitor this complex situation to determine our next steps,” the company said.

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It will also donate $6 million to humanitarian efforts around the region, the statement said.

Samsung is the most popular brand for handsets in Russia, with a 30% market share in the fourth quarter of 2021, data provider Counterpoint said. China’s Xiaomi has a 23% market share, followed by Apple with 13%, Counterpoint said.

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On the financial side, online payments service PayPal said it would drop its services in Russia. Although PayPal ended its domestic payment service in 2020, it had until Saturday allowed Russians to make international payments via its platform.

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“PayPal supports the Ukrainian people and stands with the international community in condemning Russia’s violent military aggression in Ukraine,” read a statement from chief executive Dan Schulman.

Russian users of the service will still have a brief period when they can access funds remaining in their accounts.

Inditex, the parent company of Spanish fast fashion retailer Zara, is also set to leave the country, which will mean the temporary closure of 502 stores across Russia. The company also owns the Massimo Dutti, Pull&Bear, Zara Home and Bershka brands, all of which will also be affected.

“Given the current situations, the continuity of operations and business conditions cannot be guaranteed in the Russian Federation,” read a statement.

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Online sales will also be shut down. After Spain, Russia is the company’s biggest market. According to its own statements, about 8.5% of its revenues come from Russia.

Inditex said its main concern will be the 9,000 people it employs in Russia and said it was working on a plan to provide for them.

Inditex is today the number one company in the world for cheap fashion, neck and neck with Swedish giant H&M, which also announced a suspension of operations in the country.

Spain’s second-largest fashion retailer Mango said on Thursday it was temporarily closing its 120 Russian shops, and Tendam, the third-largest clothing group, said it had taken a similar decision on Saturday.

German sports clothing firm Puma also announced a similar move, saying the company’s 90 Russian stores, which employ more than 900, will be “closed for the duration.”

The brands join a series of major international firms, including Apple, Intel and Microsoft, which have opted to stop sales or pause business and services in Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine.

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