U.S. tech giant Apple officially entered Ukraine, Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov announced on June 30. The company will now control stores of local dealers and will import its equipment directly to Ukraine.

It is long-awaited news for the country: “Apple’s presence will strengthen the image of Ukraine on the international market and will help to attract investments in the future,” Fedorov said.

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By registering its company in Ukraine, Apple could also potentially avoid paying a 20% value-added tax that Ukraine recently imposed on non-residential tech companies like Apple, Netflix, Amazon and Facebook, according to some experts.

At first, Apple was hesitant to enter Ukraine — it slowly added the Ukrainian language to its apps and website, published job vacancies and finally registered a limited liability company, called Apple Ukraine at the IQ business center in Kyiv in July 2020. For many months the company neither confirmed nor denied that it was about to enter Ukraine but continued to hire specialists in Kyiv. The head of the company is listed as Peter Denwood. He is the director of international corporate law at Apple, according to his page on LinkedIn.

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Ordinary Apple users will benefit now that the company has a presence in Ukraine. Since Apple didn’t have an official service center in Ukraine, local users repaired their devices at unofficial repair shops that weren’t always reliable. In March, Apple announced it would partner with repair shops, supplying unofficial technicians with the original parts and tools they need to repair the company’s proprietary tech. Having an office in Ukraine means the company can control stores directly.

Apple has not yet said what exactly it will do in Ukraine and why it entered the country. Representatives of the company who spoke with the Kyiv Post said that they “cannot comment beyond their public filings” right now.

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