LEGAL/POLICY

Russia Smartphone Software Law Pushed Back

Presentation of the smartphone "Yandex. Phone" by the company "Yandex". December 05, 2018. Russia, Moscow. Photo credit: Dmitry Korotaev/Kommersant/Sipa USA
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Russia delayed controversial legislation to allow only the sale of devices with native software by six months, Tass News Agency reported, apparently in response to manufacturers labelling the deadline to implement the move impossible.

Legislation passed by the country’s parliament and ratified by President Vladimir Putin in 2019 called for manufacturers of devices including smartphones, computers and smart TVs to install native software alongside mainstream OSes, in an effort to boost the use of domestic technology.

Tass News Agency reported the government mandated domestic equivalents for search engines, antivirus software, public service access programmes and payment systems.

The move was due to be implemented on 1 July, but the Russian Association of Trading Companies and Manufacturers of Household Electrical Equipment and Computers (RATEK) in February said members considered the deadline impossible to meet. It called for a stay until 1 January 2021, sending its comments and proposals to the Federal Antimonopoly Service.

RATEK also criticised proposals to have OS developers remove pre-installed programmes, stating this was not technically feasible.

Co-author  of  the original bill for the move, Oleg Nikolayev previously argued it aimed to ensure consumers had alternative to Western applications. -Mobile World Live

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