Intel and Airbnb join US tech freeze of Russia and Belarus

Intel said it “condemns the invasion of Ukraine”

NEW YORK — Intel and Airbnb announced on Thursday they were suspending operations in Russia and Belarus, joining a U.S. technology freeze by Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

The United States and its European allies imposed harsh sanctions on Russia following the attack, and major companies in various sectors followed suit by freezing business in the country.

Apple has halted all product sales in Russia and limited the use of Apple Pay, while Facebook, YouTube and Microsoft have taken steps to limit the reach of state-linked Russian media.

“Intel condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and we have suspended all deliveries to customers in Russia and Belarus,” the chipmaker said in a statement.

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this war.”

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, who added a Ukrainian flag to his Twitter profile, tweeted that the company is “suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus,” without giving further details.

The vacation rental platform also announced on Monday that it would offer free short-term stays to 100,000 people fleeing fighting in Ukraine.

Since the start of the Russian offensive, a million refugees have left this Eastern European country, the United Nations announced on Thursday.

Airbnb’s offer echoes the firm’s aid last August to people fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban took over.

The California-based company has also come under scrutiny over its presence in China in recent weeks.

Research published this month showed Airbnb had hundreds of listings in Xinjiang and Tibet, two regions where China is accused of widespread human rights abuses.

Airbnb told AFP at the time that it operates “where the U.S. government allows us to” and has a “rigorous process…to ensure we follow applicable rules.”

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