Yandex, the Russian Google, wants to cut ties with Russia
Put in difficulty by Western sanctions, Yandex wants to restructure in depth.
In theory, everything is fine well at Yandex, the European web giant, which is sometimes nicknamed the Russian Google. The technology company also posted a 46% increase in turnover in the third quarter of 2022, boosted by the good shape of activities related to its search engine and e-commerce. However, the company wants to restructure in depth.
Yandex is suffocated by Western sanctions
On closer inspection, the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions have hurt the company very badly. Even before the outbreak of the war, its shares had fallen by 62% on the Nasdaq in New York, or more than 20 billion dollars in market capitalization, and its listing has been suspended since last February.
Activities such as self-driving cars, machine learning, or the cloud are now unviable for Yandex due to sanctions. The Tech giant can no longer access Western technologies, nor secure the services of experts in these different fields.
To get out of this, the company's parent company, headquartered in the Netherlands, would like to cut its ties with Russia. The idea would therefore be to transfer these cutting-edge domains to external markets, and thus escape the sanctions of the United States and the European Union. At the same time, the business established in the country, including the search engine, would be sold.
To implement this strategy, the leaders of Yandex will however have to convince Vladimir Putin. And nothing is gained, because the Russian leader is very attached to the idea of technological sovereignty, and he will probably not see a good eye to see these activities sold abroad.
Russian Tech is exhausted by the War in Ukraine
According to the New York Times, Yandex can however count on the support of Aleksei Kudrin, an adviser to the president, who is currently acting informally on behalf of the company. In the future, the latter could occupy a position of responsibility to act as a link between the company and the Kremlin.
The future will tell us if this plan is carried out. Either way, the war in Ukraine is putting the Russian Tech sector in trouble. According to a report by the Russian Association of Electronic Communications published shortly after the start of the conflict, between 50,000 and 70,000 new technology workers fled the country. This figure has probably increased significantly since the announcement of the partial mobilization by Vladimir Putin last September.