| 8 December 2023, Friday |

Tinder owner to quit Russia more than a year after invasion began

The owner of the dating apps Tinder and Hinge has announced it will stop operating in Russia, more than a year after the war in Ukraine broke out.

Match Group said its brands were taking steps to “restrict access” to services and would withdraw from the Russian market completely by 30 June.

The announcement comes after many global companies cut ties with Russia after the invasion in February 2022.

The BBC has asked Match Group for comment.

The US company made the announcement in its annual report on Tuesday, adding that it was “committed to protecting human rights”.

In the immediate weeks after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, numerous mostly Western firms announced they were suspending activities in Russia, or withdrawing from the country altogether.

As pressure from consumers grew, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Heineken announced they were cutting ties.

Match Group, whose brands include other dating sites such as Plenty of Fish, has made few public statements about its Russian operations.

The company, which employs more than 2,700 staff worldwide, however did flag negative impacts on its European business in March 2022, according to news agency Reuters.

Match Group claims Tinder is the world’s “most popular app for meeting new people”.

‘Not a good look’

Match shareholder Friends Fiduciary Corp told Reuters that the company’s continued presence in Russia was “not a good look”.

“It’s not a good look for a trusted brand to be continuing operations in a nation where the head of state has been indicted by the International Criminal Court,” said executive director Jeff Perkins.

Other technology firms, such as Netflix and Apple, paused operations in the country in 2022.

McDonalds meanwhile confirmed it would leave for good and sell its restaurants in May.

The fast food chain opened its first restaurant in the country in 1990, with the move coming to symbolise a thaw in Cold War tensions.

Last week French drinks giant Pernod Ricard said it was “working hard to find the best way” to stop exporting brands to Russia including Beefeater gin and Jameson whiskey, having previously admitted to restarting exports.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Putin for alleged war crimes in Ukraine. It says he is responsible for war crimes during the Ukraine war, which includes the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.