Russia demands US tech firms set up operations on its soil or face restrictions, bans

Russia’s government has demanded that 13 foreign tech companies set up offices in the country or potentially face restrictions and bans, Reuters reported

The demand was issued Monday by Roskomnadzor, the Russian agency responsible for regulating the country's mass media, after a new Russian law took effect in July and mandated that social media platforms with more than 500,000 daily users must set up a physical presence in the country.

Companies will also be required to open accounts on Roskomnadzor's website and create an interface through which Russian users can provide feedback, Reuters reported. 

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Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok are among the tech entities addressed in the demand. All were fined earlier this year by the Russian government for failing to delete content that it determined to be illegal.

The demand stated that companies could face restrictions — or bans — in marketing, collecting data and transferring funds if they don't comply with the law by the end of 2021.

The new demands come as Russia has been building its own domestic tech sector, offering an alternative to U.S.-based companies. 

The Russian government has also proposed other potential policies to promote its own country's companies over their competition, including taxes on foreign digital services, tax cuts for domestic firms and requirements that devices provide Russian software to users when purchased in the country, according to Reuters.

"Foreign entities are required to limit access to information that violates Russian legislation," Roskomnadzor said in a statement, per Reuters.