Russia Mandates Pre-installing Russian Made Software on Smartphones

A new law was passed in Russia requiring smart devices to have Russian software preinstalled to allegedly help local developers compete with the international market.

The initiative was claimed to be an effort to promote the country’s tech companies but critics said it is an attempt at state control of Russia’s digital space.

Dubbed by critics as the “anti-Apple” law, all devices with internet access sold in the country that is made locally or abroad need pre-installed software from either Yandex, Mail.ru., Odnoklassniki, and VKontakte.

Apple initially criticized the law and even threatened to pull out of the Russian market but ended up complying. 

Apple said it would offer a series of apps from Russian developers in its activation screens for new devices as long as they are compliant with Apple’s standards for privacy and security. 

Russia has recently tightened regulations for the use of internet apps due to the alleged proliferation of harmful and illegal content on social media platforms. 

Videos shared on social media have shown new devices booting with the message “In compliance with Russian legal requirements, continue to view available apps to download.”


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