Ericsson pulls out of Russia 'indefinitely' to protest war in Ukraine

Plus: AMD tells El Reg it stopped 'all technical, product support and marketing' in pariah state


Swedish network system maker Ericsson has confirmed it has "indefinitely" halted all shipments to clients in Russia, joining the ever growing list of tech organizations protesting the atrocities in Ukraine.

The decision to stop deliveries to Russia was implemented in "late February" Ericsson told the world today as it outlined for investors and others interested in its affairs the financial cost of doing so.

"In light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely.

"Ericsson is engaging with customers and partners regarding the indefinite suspension of the affected business," it said.

Employees working for Ericsson in Russia "will be placed on paid leave," the vendor added. "The priority is to focus on the safety and wellbeing of Ericsson employees" in the country.

Many of the household tech names in the West paused shipments of hardware and software to Russia since it invaded Ukraine in late February, including IBM, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Google, Oracle and more. Most have not put a dollar figure on how much that action will cost, though Adobe and RPA player UiPath did.

Ericsson said that as a consequence of its withdrawal, the company will lodge a 900 million crown ($95.32 million) provision for Q1 of 2022 for the "impairment of assets and other exceptional costs."

"No staff redundancies is included. The provision will be recorded in Other Operating Expenses in Segment Networks. Around one third of this amount impacts cashflow," the company added.

Work by Ericsson in Russia has included helping to develop a private 5G-ready network for industrial customers with Mobile TeleSystems Public Joint Stock Company, the largest mobile comms provider in the country.

Ericsson also ran a 5G Innovation Hub in Moscow and established the Ericsson Academy Moscow in 2014 to provide skills locally to use its kit.

The loss of business for Ericsson will no doubt be manna from heaven for Huawei, which has found no friends in Washington but is reportedly already well ensconced in Russia, accounting for 40 to 60 percent of the wireless network equipment installed. Now it will have one less competitor to worry about, for the time being at least.

Just days ago Intel confirmed it had "suspended all business operations" in Russia a month or so after pausing all shipments to the nation. The Semiconductor Industry Association said Russia accounted for 0.1 percent global chip purchases in 2021.

AMD also froze sales and distribution of its products to Russia in late February, and has now updated its stance. "In conjunction with our earlier suspension of sales in Russia, AMD also suspended all technical and product support and marketing is Russia at that time," a spokesperson told us. ®


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