Russia is taking a second look at the way tech companies function in the country. Most recently, Russia has asked Netflix and other streaming giants to include local state TV channels on their platforms. According to a report in Moscow Times, Russia’s Communications Regulator Roskomnadzor recently announced that it will require foreign streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to offer 20 Russian federal television channels to their subscribers. The law was created in late 2020 and will come into effect starting March 2022.
There are 20 Russian channels that must be added to streaming services. These include Channel One, entertainment channel NTC, Orthodox church channel “Spas,” and more. Russia has also advised the streaming companies to comply with the country’s laws, which means that they may be prohibited from delivering movies and shows that promote “extremism” or even LGBTQIA+ content. According to the regulator, the law applies to all online streaming services with over 100,000 daily users including Netflix and Amazon Prime. However, it is unclear if Apple TV+ will have to follow this, since Apple doesn’t disclose how many daily users it has.
This comes after a November 2021 regulation that required major tech companies like Facebook, Apple, Google, and others to open local offices in Russia if they didn’t want to be banned in the country.
The country has also launched an antitrust case against Apple and the App Store, demanding the Cupetino-based giant to allow developers to offer third-party payment options. None of the major companies have announced how or if they will comply with the new Russian laws.