Apple and other tech companies may face restrictions in Russia due to new protectionist legislation

The Russian government passed new protectionist legislation this month that could directly affect tech and media companies like Apple, Google, Netflix and Samsung. As of July 1, 2020, all computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices sold in Russia must be delivered with Russian software preinstalled.

One of the new requirements is that all devices must have the Yandex Internet browser and other applications developed in Russia installed by default. This raised concerns about data confidentiality, as another request is that all data from Russian users be stored on local servers. LinkedIn has been banned from the country after refusing to share user information on Russian servers, and the same can happen with Facebook and Twitter.

A spokesperson for the Association of Trade Companies and Manufacturers of Household Electrical and Computer Equipment (RATEK) said The Hollywood Reporter that the new legislation should affect business in the country. “It will hit consumers, electronics manufacturers and software developers,” they said.

It seems very unlikely that Apple will accept something like this, as the company refuses to modify its operating systems for specific regions or telephone operators. Even companies that can modify the system would have to pay a license to use these Russian apps, which would make the product more expensive and less competitive in the market.

THR also mentioned that changes to Russian law should affect services like Apple TV + and Netflix, as the government wants to protect locally produced multimedia content. Violation of the laws can result in a penalty of up to 18 million rubles, or about $ 290,000. This can cause many companies to close their operations in the country.

Apple, Google, Samsung and Dell have come together to try to reverse the government’s decision, but so far it has not worked.

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