It has been an interesting year for Google. It has also been an interesting year for Russia. That said, it looks like the two are about to part company. Reports are coming in that Google is preparing to withdraw all its engineering operations in Russia. The source information is coming from The Information (source link below) who claim inside sources are telling them that Google are withdrawing their engineers (most who are situated in Moscow) from the country. The report also suggests that Google will be offering the engineers the opportunity to work elsewhere within the company.
If you are wondering why this is happening. Then in short, it seems the main reason behind the withdrawal revolves around a new law brought forward in Russia earlier this year. The law requires all tech companies to house data obtained about Russian Citizens physically within the country. As a result, tech companies like Google are not permitted to house such data in data centres elsewhere. It is worth noting that the reports suggest that this is only an operational withdrawal and sales will continue in the country regardless. We already know this is not the first time Google has butted heads with a country based on local laws and regulations resulting in the Search company removing their services. We only have to look back to 2010 when Google pulled out of China as evidence of this. Not to mention, the more recent issue Google is having with Spain.
Google has not made any official response in regards to the claims although The Next Web (via link below) did reach out to the Search giant and in their reply Google stated they are “committed” to their Russian users and will be offering them support of some kind. What this means in real terms is not so clear at the moment. Although their reply did not seem to deny the withdrawal is taking place. Presumably, Google will at some point make an official announcement on this either way. What do you think of the situation? Should Google be withdrawing from countries like Russia and Spain? Let us know your thoughts on the matter