Russia's new Internet czar vows to make Apple & Google pay more taxes
In an effort to bolster local competitors, Russia's new Internet adviser to president Vladimir Putin plans to raise taxes on American companies, singling out Apple, Google and Microsoft as targets.
German Klimenko hopes that new measures targeting American businesses will help homegrown companies like Yandex and Mail.ru, according to a new profile by Bloomberg. Russia is exploring new revenue avenues as the country faces its worst recession since Putin took office in 2000.
While Klimenko said he plans to target Apple for taxes, his focus seems greater on rivals Google and Microsoft. In particular, he plans to switch Russia's computers from Microsoft Windows to Linux, citing the company's compliance with sanctions on Crimea.
Google also refuses to respond to law enforcement requests from Russia, despite compliance in other nations. Klimenko sees that as a "potential threat" to Russia's national security.
Apple's online store in Russia opened in June of 2014. It is the only direct sales path for Russian consumers, as there are no brick-and-mortar Apple stores in the country.
Last September, Apple began hosting local iCloud data within Russia, in compliance with a new law in the country. Its compliance ensured that its online services were not blocked in Russia. Apple has noted that all data stored on servers is encrypted and could not be accessed by outside parties.