Putin signs law on opening large branches of foreign IT companies in Russia – Business & Economy

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MOSCOW, July 1. / TASS /. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law requiring large foreign IT companies to open branches or representative offices in Russia, the document was posted on a government legal information site on Thursday.

Owners of Internet resources, whose daily audience exceeds 500,000 Russian users, will have to set up branches, open representative offices or establish legal entities in Russia, from January 1, 2022. According to the document, branches must “fully represent the interests of parent companies.” A set of measures is also put in place to force IT companies to comply with Russian law, including, as a last resort, the possibility of partial or total blocking of the incriminated resource .

A set of measures is also in place to force IT companies to comply with Russian legislation. Among them, informing users of Internet resources about violations of the legislation of the Russian Federation, prohibitions on broadcasting advertising on an information resource, making payments there, on search results, on the collection and cross-border transfer of personal data of Russian citizens. As a last resort, the possibility of a partial or total blocking of the incriminated resource is provided for.

The preliminary list of Internet resources, the owners of which may be forced to open branches or representative offices in Russia, includes 20 platforms. It includes social networks (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter), video hosting (YouTube, Twitch.tv), instant messengers (WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber), messaging service (Gmail), search engines (Google, Bing.com), hosting providers (Amazon, Digital Ocean, Cloudflare, GoDaddy), online stores (Aliexpress.com, Ikea.com, Iherb.com) and Wikipedia.org. At the same time, this list can be adjusted. The corresponding legislative initiative was submitted to the State Duma on May 21 by a group of deputies of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy and Senator Alexei Pushkov. The document was supported by the Russian government, the Bank of Russia and the Federal Antimonopoly Service.

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