Google to close Russian engineering office

Google plans to pull its engineering office from Russia, leaving in place only workers tending to its partnerships, sales, support, communications, and marketing. The information comes from the Wall Street Journal, which says a Google spokesman wouldn't state the company's reason for closing its engineering office. The business move follows the nation's crackdown on both Internet companies and Internet freedoms.

Russia will enact a new law in 2015 mandating that Russian citizens' data be stored in local data centers, and companies that fail to follow this will be penalized. This law was preceded by a different law requiring bloggers with at least moderate daily page views to register their site and personal information with the government.

Despite the move, Google is not abandoning its users in the nation, with a spokesman saying to the WSJ, "We are deeply committed to our Russian users and customers and we have a dedicated team in Russia working to support them." No comment was provided when asked how many employees are remaining in Russia.

Russia's growing restrictions on Internet usage and companies is thought to be the reason behind Google's decision. Whether Google will follow a similar path with Russia as it did with China is yet to be seen.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal