Apple Says It Has Stopped All Product Sales In Russia
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Apple Says It Has Stopped All Product Sales In Russia

The tech giant had faced pressure to curtail sales following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

By Tim Higgins
Thu, Mar 3, 2022 11:57amGrey Clock 2 min

Apple Inc. has stopped selling iPhones and other products in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant on Tuesday said the sales halt came along with blocking the download of the state-sponsored news outlets through its App Store outside of Russia.

“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” Apple said Tuesday. “We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.”

Silicon Valley’s big technology companies have been facing greater pressure to cut off services and content to Russia. On Friday, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asked Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook to stop supplying Apple products and services to Russia, including halting access to the App Store.

The App Store remained operational in Russia. During the third quarter of last year, Apple held 15% of the smartphone market in Russia behind Samsung and Xiaomi, according to researcher IDC.

Last week, Apple said, it stopped the export of its products to Russian sales channels. Apple Pay has also been limited in Russia and it also disabled traffic and live incidents from its Maps in Ukraine, the company said.

In addition to Apple, Mr. Fedorov had targeted other tech giants, including a request to Elon Musk that his rocket company Space Exploration Technologies Corp. send its Starlink satellite-based internet service to Ukraine. Mr. Musk quickly obliged.

Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube has restricted access to RT and other Russian channels in Ukraine following the request of the government there. Google also disabled its live traffic data in Ukraine on Google Maps.

Dell Technologies Inc. also moved to suspend product sales in Russia. The company said Tuesday it was monitoring the situation to determine its next steps and working to assist employees affected by the conflict.

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: March 2, 2022



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Australia to outshine its peers in ‘surprisingly resilient’ global economy

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has described the global economy as “surprisingly resilient” amid rapid interest rate rises to quell high inflation since 2022, post-pandemic supply chain disruptions, a short-term spike in energy prices due to the war in Ukraine and increased geopolitical tensions involving China and the Middle East.

The IMF’s biannual World Economic Outlook report says the world has so far avoided stagflation and recession, with large pandemic savings enabling households to cope with higher rates and inflation, and strong immigration in advanced economies creating unusually tight labour markets.

IMF economic counsellor Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said most indicators point to a soft landing for the global economy and the IMG now expects “less economic scarring from the pandemic. He noted that markets had reacted exuberantly in recent weeks to the prospect of central banks lowering interest rates soon.

However, the IMF says global growth will moderate over the next five years to its lowest level in decades. It projects 3.2 percent global growth in 2024 and 2025, the same pace as 2023, with still-high borrowing costs, the withdrawal of fiscal support and weak productivity growth weighing economic activity down.

Australia is expected to underperform other advanced economies, especially the United States, this year but will surge beyond them from 2025. The IMF predicts annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1.5 percent in Australia in 2024, which is well below our long-term pre-pandemic average of 2.5 percent. The US is expected to book above-average growth of 2.7 percent in 2024 and the world’s advanced economies are tipped to average 1.7 percent growth.

Australian economic growth will then move above other advanced economies and maintain upward momentum through til 2029. The IMF predicts 2 percent GDP growth for Australia in 2025 and 2.3 percent in 2029. For the US, the IMF expects 1.9 percent growth in 2025 and 2.1 percent in 2029. For the advanced economies in aggregate, the IMF forecasts 1.8 percent growth in 2025 and 1.7 percent in 2029.

The IMF said higher interest rates had had less effect on the US economy compared to Australia because most US mortgages are on long-term fixed rates and household debt has been lower since the global financial crisis. In Australia, most loans are on variable rates and therefore immediately impacted by every rate rise, household debt is high, and housing supply is restricted.  

The exceptional recent performance of the United States is certainly impressive and a major driver of global growth, but it reflects strong demand factors as well, including a fiscal stance that is out of line with long-term fiscal sustainability,” said Mr Gourinchas.

An example of unusual fiscal policy is the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes US$369 billion in new spending to encourage green energy investment. This raises short-term risks to the disinflation process, as well as longer-term fiscal and financial stability risks for the global economy since it risks pushing up global funding costs, he said.

While things are going well now, Mr Gourinchas said risks to global economic progress remain.

On the downside, new price spikes stemming from geopolitical tensions, including those from the war in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza and Israel, could, along with persistent core inflation where labour markets are still tight, raise interest rate expectations and reduce asset prices. A divergence in disinflation speeds among major economies could also cause currency movements that put financial sectors under pressure.

Mr Gourinchas said growth in China could falter, hurting trading partners, without a comprehensive response to its property sector downturn. “Domestic demand will remain lacklustre for some time unless strong measures and reforms address the root cause. Public debt dynamics are also of concern, especially if the property crisis morphs into a local public finance crisis.

He also noted that weak productivity growth remains a challenge for the whole world and “much hope rests on artificial intelligence delivering strong productivity gains in the medium term”.

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