“Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our services in Russia,” a spokesman for the company told CNN.
Netflix joins a growing number of entertainment and media companies leaving Russia. Disney has suspended all theatrical releases in the country. Warner Bros, owned by CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia, has said its blockbuster “Batman” will not be shown in Russian cinemas. TikTok also said on Sunday it would discourage new uploads and live streams on its platform in Russia, citing new punitive laws that criminalize spreading “fake” information about the government’s attack on Ukraine.
“In light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law, we have no choice but to suspend live streaming and new content for our video service while we consider the security implications of this law,” the company tweeted.
He added that Russian users will still be able to use the messaging service on the TikTok app.
The law, passed by the Russian parliament on Friday, punishes those who discredit the Russian military or call for sanctions against the country. Violators of the law could face up to 15 years in prison or a fine of 1.5 million rubles ($14,085), according to state media.
The new rules forced many international media outlets, including CNN, to stop reporting from Russia due to concerns for the safety of journalists, and also forced the closure of many independent Russian media outlets.
TikTok said last week that it quickly tracked a policy to help users identify videos that were uploaded by state-controlled media accounts. The platform will start labeling such content in the coming days, he said.
— Brian Stelter and Brian Fung of CNN contributed to this report.