Russia to Replace Western Gadgets with Chinese Brands

    Chinese smartphones and home appliances are replacing major Western brands that left Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, business daily Kommersant reported on Monday. Results from January to June 2022, analyzed by IT supplier Marvel Distribution, showed that at least seven Chinese smartphone brands lead sales in Russia, according to Kommersant.

    Realmi alone doubled sales from less than half a million units in January-June 2021 to more than 1 million at the same time this year.

    Electronics retailers reported that sales of individual Chinese smartphone brands, including Tecno, rose by up to have increased twenty times. At the same time, the share of smartphone sales by Apple and Samsung in Russia fell by 14% and 15%, respectively.

    President Vladimir Putin, who ordered troops to attack Ukraine in February, signed legislation last week legalizing so-called parallel imports into the country to maintain supplies of Western goods despite Western sanctions and brand exits.

    The program eliminates penalties for importing automobiles, clothing and raw materials, and other foreign products on a government-approved list without authorization from the brand owner.

    Analysts polled by Kommersant said they expect well-known Chinese brands to consolidate their leadership in the Russian market.

    Chinese tech brands will take up to 90% of the entire market in Russia, Alexander Surkov, head of advanced device designer and manufacturer at Russia’s GS Group, told the outlet. After that, they will start building their own ecosystem, which will eventually further strengthen their position, he added.

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