Russia Now Requires All Smartphones and Devices in the Country to Have Russian Software Preinstalled
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The law applies to all devices produced in the country from Thursday onwards.
Reuters reported that Russia viewed it as a way to help Russian software companies compete with international ones.
The outlet added that the law had been an issue for Apple and that it had become known as "the law against Apple."
But Apple agreed last month to allow people to install Russian software as they set up their phones, Reuters reported.
The company said that it would offer apps from Russian developers to users activating phones but that all apps were checked to make sure they meet Apple's own privacy and security policies, Reuters said.
This means users would be able to choose Russian apps over foreign ones when setting up their devices.
In a tweet on Thursday, an iOS developer named Tian Zhang shared a video of the new setup process.
Here is how it looks in the actual setup. pic.twitter.com/QOUwwIGSnx— Khaos Tian (@KhaosT) April 1, 2021
A screen in the setup now says, "In compliance with Russian legal requirements, continue to view available apps to download." Tapping "continue" takes the user to a list of Russian-made apps, including several from the search giant Yandex.
Russia has been trying to crack down on US tech companies in the country and strengthen its reliance on its government-controlled "sovereign internet." Last month, Russia slowed down Twitter in response to the company's refusal to remove various banned content, but that ended up blocking many more domains, including the Kremlin's website.