Russia says Google and Apple must pay more taxes

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By Larry Banks

In order to boost local competitors, Russia’s new adviser to president Vladimir Putin regarding Internet matters wants to raise taxes on US companies, particularly singling out Apple, Google and Microsoft.

German Klimenko is reportedly hoping that new measures targeting American firms will help domestic Russian companies like Yandex and, according to a profile by Bloomberg. The country is looking and new revenues as the country suffers the worst recession since Putin took office back in 2000.

Despite stating that he will target Apple for taxes, Klimenko appears to focus even more on rivals Google and Microsoft. He plans to move Russia’s computer systems from Windows to Linux, as a result of the firm’s compliance with Crimean sanctions.

Google also ignores law enforcement requests from Russia, even though it does comply in other countries. Klimenko believes that is a “potential threat” to the country’s national security.

Apple’s online store in the country opened in June 2014, and is the only direct way for Russia consumers to obtain Apple products as it has no retail presence.

In September 2015, Apple also started to host local iCloud data in Russia to comply with new laws. That ensured its online services would not be blocked. Apple says that all date on its servers is encrypted and can’t be accessed by third parties.

SOURCE: Bloomberg.

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