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Taiwan computer maker Acer suspends business in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Taiwan tech firm Acer said Friday it was halting all business in Russia after Taipei expanded sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Self-ruled Taiwan has been watching the conflict in Ukraine closely and swiftly joined the international sanctions against Russia.

The invasion has heightened fears that China might one day follow through on threats to annex its smaller neighbour.

Acer said in a statement it has decided to suspend its business in Russia “due to recent developments”.

“The company is focusing on the safety of all its employees, which includes ongoing efforts to help every individual and their families impacted by the current situation.”

Taiwan’s government recently listed 57 “strategic high-tech commodities” subjected to tighter export controls, including computers, telecoms and avionics devices, as well as equipment for making semiconductors.

Exporters must seek prior approval from the Bureau of Foreign Trade if they wish to ship the controlled items to Russia.

The island is a major manufacturing hub for microchips and home to the world’s largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

Last month, another leading Taiwanese computer maker ASUS announced that its shipments to Russia were “at a standstill” due to the war.

Acer’s announcement came days after Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov published a letter to ASUS chairman Jonney Shih calling on the firm to “end any relationships” with Russia.

Fedorov — who is also Ukraine’s digital minister — has also urged multinational tech companies such as Intel, Microsoft and PayPal to halt operations in Russia.

A growing number of multinationals, from McDonald’s to Adidas and Samsung, have fully or partially halted business in Russia.

AFP

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