Russia is going to lose a technology company that is referred to as “Russia’s Google”. This could be a big setback for President Vladimir V. Putin who has been working aggressively on developing homegrown substitutes for Western goods and services.
Holland-based holding company of Russia’s Google is shutting down its Russian business and focusing on developing markets like Southeast Asia. The company is selling off its most promising technologies to strengthen itself and offer better services, such as a popular internet browser, food delivery, and taxi services.
This is due to the fact that Russia’s Google was making huge development in the Russian market, such as self-driving cars, machine learning, and cloud services. If a company wants access to Western markets, experts, and technology, they will find it an unviable option if they remain associated with Russia. For example, yandex would continue offering the same products in their country under the new owners
The Russian government wants to stop Yandex’s plan and negotiate a deal that would prevent the company from going forward with its plan. Along with negotiating with the Kremlin, Yandex needs to obtain the approval of its shareholders by finding buyers for their businesses and restructuring the company.
For now, Yandex has a supportive government auditor in Aleksei Kudrin– the company’s chief executive officer and one of the few prominent economic liberals left in the Russian government. Mr. Kudrin is acting for Yandex in an informal capacity, but it is expected he will take a managerial role soon.
A Russian presidential spokesman says no date for a meeting has been set, despite local media reports that Mr. Kudrin and Mr. Putin will meet this week.
Yandex declined to comment. The company’s restructuring plan was first reported by the Russian economic media outlet The Bell. Russia’s Audit Chamber, Mr. Kudrin’s employer, did not respond to request for comment.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and destruction of Ukraine’s economy, the price of Yandex’s shares has gone down by 62% in the past year. Its New York-listed shares have lost $20 billion worth of value before being suspended from trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange for their invasion in February.
More than 18,000 Yandex employees have left Russia since the start of the invasion. In March, the company’s deputy chief executive at the time, Tigran Khudaverdyan, publicly contradicted Kremlin propaganda by calling it a “monstrous war.” To distance itself from its political fallout, Yandex sold its online news aggregator on August 10.
The European Union imposed sanctions against Mr. Khudaverdyan in March for Yandex’s role in promoting the Kremlin’s war narrative. His boss, the company’s Israel-based founder, Arkady Volozh, was hit with sanctions by the bloc several months later. Both resigned from the company to allow it to continue operating in Europe.