Russia passes law requiring all devices to have pre-loaded, Russian made apps from July 2020

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What you need to know

  • Russia has passed a law banning the sale of devices that do not come pre-installed with Russian software.
  • The new law will come into force in July 2020.
  • It covers smartphones, computers, and televisions.

A report today has revealed that Russia has passed a law banning the sale of technology devices that do not come pre-installed with Russian software.

According to the BBC, the legislation will come into force in July 2020, and covers smartphones, computers and smart TVs. Backers of the legislation say it will help promote Russian technology, and make it easier for Russians to use the tech they buy.

Importantly, the law will not prohibit companies from including their own, normal software:

The law will not mean devices from other countries cannot be sold with their normal software - but Russian "alternatives" will also have to be installed.

A co-author of the bill, Oleg Nikolayev, said:

"When we buy complex electronic devices, they already have individual applications, mostly Western ones, pre-installed on them... naturally, when a person sees them... they might think that there are no domestic alternatives available. And if, alongside pre-installed applications, we will also offer the Russian ones to users, then they will have a right to choose."

Distributors and manufacturers in Russia have criticized the move, claiming that installing Russian-made software on some devices will be impossible and that many international companies may simply leave the market as a result. Perhaps more worryingly, concerns have also been raised that the Russian-made software may be used to spy on its users.

The report notes that the government is yet to compile a list of all devices affected. The list of software that requires pre-installation will also be determined by the government. There are no specifics yet, but as the law covers smartphones and computers, no doubt Apple, Google, Samsung, and HTC could all fall foul of the move, as well as computer manufacturers like Dell and Lenovo. Tim Cook may well have convinced President Trump to grant Apple relief from US tariffs in China, but he'll probably struggle to get out of this one...

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6 Comments
  • Interesting move let's see how this one plays out.
  • I know right? What next, every country demands it's own? Lol. Big Brother is fully awake.
  • You only have to look to China to see where this is going. Remember the Chinese app about the thoughts and sayings of President Xi?
  • Yeah but no no the US man we're the real bad guys... I'll take the angry Cheeto over these other guys any day
  • Нет, спасибо...errr, meant to say, no thanks. I think I'll do without preloaded Russian made apps. Example of a preloaded Russian app: Мы будем вмешиваться в ваши выборы /We will interfere in your election.
  • Well honestly, I bought Elbrus 8C, it came with the motherboard and chipset and everything, set it up, installed Astralinux and everything works great, I have been 2 years now without Microsoft on my home devices, now I got an Xperia Z5 and installed Aurora OS and I got rid of iPhone Xs, Aurora OS simply beats iOS, can't wait for it to be supported in more mobile devices, also, hehehe, in a few months I will be buying the new UAZ patriot 2019 or 2020 when comes out, I see Yandex released a home station and a mobile phone, so far, I also play russian video games and since I got rid of Intel, AMD and Microsoft I have to tell, I feel liberated, I really feel that I'm free, Russia is now jumping into big things and moving quickly, Astralinux got an update recently which made experience way better, hopefully more people will be able to enjoy alternatives to what america has, even VK is cooler than facebook