Domestic-made Software Soon to Become Mandatory on Smartphones in Russia

A controversial new draft bill that would force all smartphone makers to pre-install Russian-made software on their devices sold in the country has been submitted to the State Duma, Reuters reported.

In a bid to support domestic software producers, Russian lawmakers from the ruling United Russia party want to make it a legal requirement for all smartphones, computers and smart TV sets sold in Russia to come pre-installed with certain Russian software.

Authorities would draw up a list of mandatory, locally-made software. If passed, the bill would come into force in July 2020.

Russia’s cell-phone market is dominated by Apple, Samsung and Huawei.

The bill also proposes fining companies that sell devices without pre-installed Russian software from 50,000 to 200,000 rubles ($790-$3,170) starting from January 2021.

The proposal will only become law if it is backed in three votes by the lower house of parliament and then approved by the upper house and President Vladimir Putin.

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service and communications ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Russia has introduced tougher Internet laws in the last five years, requiring search engines to delete some search results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services and social networks to store user data on servers in the country.