U.S. Internet giant Google will shutter its engineering operations in Russia and transfer staff to offices outside the country after Moscow tightened data storage requirements for Internet firms, the Moscow Times reports.
Google, which employs over 50 engineers in Russia, has not confirmed or commented on the move, which technology journal The Information first reported on Thursday citing unidentified sources with knowledge of the decision.
Google’s Russia office would not officially confirm the move when contacted by the Moscow Times on Friday.
Despite pulling back its staff, Google plans to increase investment in Russia, where e-commerce is booming as access to the web spreads across the country’s 140 million population.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google may retain some sales and support personnel in Russia.
Google said in a statement: “We are deeply committed to our Russian users and customers and we have a dedicated team in Russia working to support them.”
Google claims nearly one-third of Russia’s search market, about half the share of local provider Yandex.