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Gadgets: Report: Russia Says Smartphones Sold in the Country Must Have Software that Supports Traditional Russian Values

Gadgets:

Russia will require gadgets sold in the country to have pre-installed software that supports traditional values.
Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff (Getty Images)

Months after Russia banned the sale of gadgets that aren’t pre-installed with Russian-made software, government officials in that country have drafted new guidelines on what types of software companies may have to install.

The guidelines, which apply to smartphones, computers and smart TVs, have been created by the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, according to a new report by Reuters. They state that the software should help with the “formation of the priority of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values” and must be both popular and secure.

Nonetheless, the draft guidelines did not specify what Russian values the software must be in line with.

The country passed a law banning the sale of gadgets without pre-installed Russian software last November. Proponents said that law aimed to promote Russian technology and make it easier for people in the country to use the gadgets that they buy, the BBC reported. The law, which will come into force in July 2020, does not mean that products with software made in other countries cannot be sold in Russia, but it does require them to also have alternative Russian software choices installed.

One of the law’s co-authors, Oleg Nikolayev, told the Russian news agency Interfax that the devices Russians buy primarily have Western apps pre-installed on them, which was one of the main issues.

“Naturally, when a person sees them… they might think that there are no domestic alternatives available,” Nikolayev said. “And if, alongside pre-installed applications, we will also offer the Russian ones to users, then they will have a right to choose.”

The law has not been embraced by manufacturers and distributors in Russia. The Association of Trading Companies and Manufacturers of Household Electrical Equipment and Computers (RATEK) said that it would not be possible to install Russian-made software on some devices. It also stated that international companies, such as Apple, that manufacture the gadgets might withdraw from the Russian market because of the law.

Previous news reports claim that Apple representatives have warned that they are willing to exit Russia because of the software law. The reports claimed that Apple does not consider Russia to be a significant or strate
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