Twitter, Viber and TikTok start enforcing “Landing” Law

Twitter, Viber and TikTok start enforcing “Landing” Law

Foreign companies Twitter, Viber and TikTok have already begun to enforce Russia's “Landing” law. This was announced on Wednesday by the deputy head of Roskomnadzor Vadim Subbotin.

“We have companies that have begun to partially fulfill their main responsibilities. This is TikTok – they registered a personal account, posted a feedback form and informed us that they plan to open a representative office in Russia in the near future. This is Likeme Pte. Ltd. (Likee), which also posted a feedback form and also notified us of the nearest plans to establish a Russian legal entity. Twitter registered a personal account. Zoom just yesterday sent us an application for registering a personal account. Viber performed all the same duties and literally sent us yesterday documents on the creation of a legal entity,” he said at an expanded meeting of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy on the implementation of the “Landing” law on foreign IT companies.

The deputy head of Roskomnadzor also separately listed the companies that have not yet begun to implement the law. “We also have those companies that have not yet fully fulfilled their main responsibilities. These are Google, Discord, Pinterest, Telegram, Meta and Twitch,” he stressed.

Subbotin specifically called on Pinterest to organize a meeting with Roskomnadzor. According to him, such a meeting should take place as soon as possible – within a week. He also stated that Roskomnadzor is fully open to dialogue. He called on IT companies that have not begun to implement the law to diversify it.

Dialogue with companies

Roskomnadzor is in dialogue on the “Landing” law with almost all IT companies, with the exception of Twitch and Discord.

“I want to note that we are in direct contact with almost all sites, there are two exceptions, but nevertheless. Unfortunately, we currently do not have a direct connection with Twitch and a direct connection with Discord,” Subbotin said.

According to him, there are coercive economic and technological measures. “As for the technological nature, here we have unconditional readiness, and we have already demonstrated this over the past year. As for economic measures: a ban on advertising, payments, we are in serious contact with the Federal Antimonopoly Service, with the Central Bank Russia, I don't see any problems here either,” the RKN representative concluded.

Company plans

Sergei Sokolov, TikTok's director for government relations in Eastern Europe, said at the meeting that the social network will create a legal entity in Russia under the “Landing” law.

“We are also committed to complying with the laws, in this regard, we will fulfill the requirement to open a local office. We have already launched this process internally. We will create a legal entity. The process turned out to be difficult and rather long. The headquarters in Singapore would be grateful if they gave us time,” Sokolov said.

Likeme Pte. Ltd. sent documents confirming the registration of a legal entity in Russia to Roskomnadzor, a company representative said.

“We are actively developing in Russia, so it is important for us to comply with the requirements of Russian legislation, as well as the requirements of the laws of those countries in which we are present. On Friday, February 11, we sent documents confirming the registration of a legal entity in Russia. Perhaps until they have been received and reviewed,” a company spokesman said.

About the law

On July 1, 2021, the Federal Law No. 236-FZ “On the activities of Foreign Entities on the Internet Information and Telecommunications Network on the Territory of the Russian Federation” was adopted. In addition to the requirement to establish a branch or representative office of a Russian legal entity from January 1, 2022, foreign entities acquire obligations by law. So, they need to place a feedback form for users from the Russian Federation on their website, register a personal account on the Roskomnadzor website for interaction with authorities, install a recommended attendance counter on the information resource (the list of recommended attendance counters is determined by Roskomnadzor). Also, foreign entities must restrict access to information that violates Russian law. 

Roskomnadzor has published a list of companies that are required to open representative offices. The registry includes Google (Google Play, YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Chat, Gmail), Apple (iCloud, App Store, Apple Music), Meta Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp), Twitter, TikTok, Telegram, Zoom, Viber, Spotify, Likeme Pte.Ltd. (Likee), Discord, Pinterest and Twitch.