Putin signs laws that make Russian apps compulsory on smartphones, computers

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Monday legislation requiring pre-installed Russian software for all smartphones, computers and smart TV sets sold in the country.

The law, which will come into force on July 1 next year, was met with resistance by some retailers of electronics, who say the law was passed without consulting them.

The legislation is introduced as a way to help Russian IT companies compete with foreign firms and save customers from installing apps when they purchase a new phone.

Foreign companies, like Apple, Samsung and Huawei, dominate the mobile phone market in the country. Putin’s signed legislation said the government would come up with a list of Russian applications to be installed on the various devices.

In recent years, Russia has introduced tougher Internet laws 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 the country’s servers.