Russia replaces dying Western gadgets with Chinese brands

Chinese smartphones and home appliances are replacing major Western brands that left Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, according to business daily Kommersant reported Monday.

January-June 2022 results analyzed by IT vendor Marvel Distribution showed at least seven Chinese smartphone brands topped sales in Russia, according to Kommersant.

Tecno, Infinix, Realme and Xiaomi posted over 100% year-on-year growth.

Realmi alone doubled its sales, from less than half a million units in January-June 2021 to over a million in the same period this year.

Electronic retailers have reported that sales of individual Chinese smartphone brands, including Tecno, have increased twentyfold over the past few months.

Meanwhile, the share of Apple and Samsung smartphone sales in Russia fell by 14% and 15%, respectively.

Overall smartphone sales in Russia fell by almost a quarter and totaled 10 million units in the first half of 2022, according to Kommersant.

President Vladimir Putin, who ordered troops to attack Ukraine in February, last week signed a law legalizing so-called ‘parallel imports’ into the country in order to maintain supplies of Western goods despite sanctions Western brands and outlets.

The scheme removes penalties for importing cars, clothes, raw materials and other foreign products on a government-approved list without permission from brand owners.

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

“Chinese tech brands will occupy up to 90 percent of the entire market in Russia,” said Alexander Surkov, head of advanced device designer and manufacturer GS Group in Russia.

“Afterwards, they will start creating their own ecosystem, which will ultimately strengthen their position,” he said.

Russia news

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