Google is filing for bankruptcy in Russia, stating that the Russian government has seized its local bank account. According to the tech giant, this has made it no longer possible for its local office to continue operation.
“The 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,” said a Google spokesperson in a statement to Mashable.
“Google Russia has published a notice of its intention to file for bankruptcy. People in Russia rely on our services to access quality information and we’ll continue to keep free services such as Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Android and Play available.”
YouTube, which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet, demonetised Russian state-owned channels early on in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, also limiting recommendations to these channels and restricting access to them from within Ukraine. The Russian government subsequently accused Google of serving ads containing alleged false information about the invasion, its demands that this cease prompting Google to suspend all advertising in the country.
However, Google’s services otherwise continued to operate normally in Russia, and the company has now pledged this will continue even after the closure of its Russian office.
It isn’t clear exactly what reason the Russian government provided for seizing Google’s bank account. Mashable has reached out to Google for further clarification.
Whatever the justification, it seems that pausing most of its Russian commercial operations to stop ads about Ukraine may not have been enough to secure Google a place in the Russian government’s good books.