Netflix, TikTok suspend services in Russia

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Berlin, Germany – March 19: In this photo illustration the app of streaming service netflix is displayed on a smartphone on March 19, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

(AP) — Netflix and TikTok have joined a growing list of companies suspending services in Russia.

A Sunday statement from Netflix cited “circumstances on the ground” for its decision to suspend its Russian service but didn’t offer any additional details.

The announcement comes after TikTok said users on its platform in Russia have been blocked from posting and viewing videos in response to the government’s crackdown on social media.

“In light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law, we have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service while we review the safety implications of this law,” the company said in a statement on Twitter. “Our in-app messaging service will not be affected.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday intensified a crackdown on media outlets and individuals who fail to hew to the Kremlin line on Russia’s war in Ukraine, blocking Facebook and Twitter and signing into law a bill that criminalizes the intentional spreading of what Moscow deems to be “fake” reports.

TikTok is part of the larger Chinese tech company ByteDance.

American Express also announced it would suspend operations in Russia, as well as in Russian-allied Belarus.

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