Do consumers globally want businesses to pause operations in Russia?
July 7th, 2022, Rishad Dsouza

Do consumers globally want businesses to pause operations in Russia?

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on, we look at the reactions of consumers – and how much they want different types of businesses to pause operations in Russia.

Globally, there is most support for banks to halt operations in Russia, with almost half the people in 18 markets indicating the same (45%). A similar proportion of global consumers also want tech companies (45%) and hotels and airlines (44%) to shut up shop in Russia – at least for the time being.

Two-fifths of people also want automotive companies (41%), sports organizations (41%), insurance/finance service providers (40%) and online retailers (40%) to pause operations in Russia amid the conflict. There is relatively low, but a still sizeable, demand on social media (38%) and video game companies (36%) to halt their Russian operations too.

Splitting the data by region, we see marked differences in the shares of people that feel certain types of companies should halt business in Russia. Stark differences are noticed even between consumers from markets with relatively similar policies on the conflict geopolitically.

For instance, two-thirds of Brits (66%) want banks to stop doing business in Russia, but only two-fifths of those in France (40%) feel the same way. Among consumers in the US, fewer than half feel that banks should pause their operations in Russia. The proportion is strikingly low in Asian markets and in Mexico. Only a fifth of Indonesians feel banks should pause business in Russia. Just a quarter of consumers in Mexico (26%), UAE (24%) and India (24%) feel the same way and the share rises to 32% among people in Singapore and 35% among those in Hong Kong.

This pattern of Asian markets and Mexico being far less likely to want businesses to pause operations in Russia is consistent across all product categories.

Interestingly, across each independent sector Brits are the most likely to feel companies should pause business in Russia. Similarly, without exception, Indonesians are the least likely to feel the same across each sector. Other than Britain, high rates across sectors are also noticed among Poles and Swedes, which is noteworthy given their geographical proximity to Russia.

The rates in Indonesia are particularly low for auto companies (10%), sports organizations (11%), insurance and financial service providers (11%) and online retailers (10%), where they are half as likely as any other market to feel companies should pause business in Russia.

Among European markets, the French are among the least likely to want businesses to halt in Russia. The difference is more pronounced in some sectors than others. For instance, only a quarter of them (25%) feel that social media companies to shut shop in Russia, compared to more than half of consumers in Britain (56%), Poland (52%), Sweden (51%) and Canada (48%).

US, in spite of its historical animosities with Russia, sits somewhere in the middle of the list across categories, only slightly over-indexing on the global average in most sectors.

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Methodology: The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18 and over in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 514 and 2037 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in March 2022. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.