Apple threatens to pull out of Russia market over new law forcing installation of Russian software

Nica Osorio for International Business Times:

Russian President Vladimir Putin [has] signed new legislation requiring all computers, smartphones, and smart TVs sold in Russia to be released with pre-installed Russian software, Reuters reports. The authors of the latest Russian law claim that it will help the country’s developers to compete with foreign tech companies. However, for the Cupertino-based tech titan, the new law is equivalent to jailbreaking.

The new law will be in effect starting Jul. 1, 2020… the new law triggered fears that Russia could utilize the pre-installed software as a means to spay on its citizens. At this point, it is not yet clear how other tech and electronic firms would react to the latest legislation. Apple has already stated that it will pull out of the Russian market if the country would launch a total ban on selling its products without the pre-installed Russian software, according to Russian media earlier this year.

MacDailyNews Take: The new Russian law include smartphones, computers, tablets, laptops, smart TVs, and other electronic devices. Apple – and every other company with a backbone – should pull out of Russia until this law is rescinded. It’ll take about a day for Russian consumers to revolt over having only absolute crap phones, tablets, laptops, TVs, etc. available to them. Putin et al. need to lay off the vodka.

42 Comments

    1. Pull out! The right thing to do. Apple is an American company with what I hope are American ideals. Those countries that don’t realize that have asses for leaders. If those countries don’t like freedom and think that forcing an American company to its knees just so they can prove Americans have no honor, are hypocrites and only value money, then the hell with that country. Their public wants American crap, please! And that very same public will go out of its way to get those products.

      If China ever hopes to pass the United States in tech or science, the Chinese people and the minorities of China need freedom. In fact they need way more minorities and democracy. They need an integrated society.

      The hell with China too. Stop catering to countries in the name of being lawful there. Oppression is never good no matter the time in history. “Well that’s was the way it was back then is piss poor now and it was piss poor then and will be piss poor forever”. Fiduciary responsibility is not only responsibility a CEO has to stock holders and the company.

      Putin is a real ass. He just wants Apple to kick him a fee to be in the Russian market.

    1. Shakespeare says: Methinks this doth be an feeble excuse for copying non-Russian consumer electronics and creating a Russian manufacturing behemoth. What sayest thou?

        1. As a former shopkeeping manager in charge of meeting famous people, taking kids to little league in my attempt to balance my dark side of the arsolishness with a teensy modicum of doing a little bit of good, I also had to do marketing.

          By dictionary definition of the words involved, this made me a Black Marketer.

          Thus it is another arrow to the well stocked quiver of achievements in life that I, your Citizen, have achieved.

          When it comes to me, X always marks the spot. It’s what will be on my tombstone – X. The ex-X, they’d call me. Tim was trying to be funny and was telling me this the other day. Donald was promising to make it happen!

          It’ll be the best tombstone EVER, he would proudly proclaim. Tim’s joke that he’d send me a special personal update that ignored AFib was only mildly amusing, like the kind of laughs you get from a mild heart attack, which is to say none.

          I certainly do have some unusual friends. Vladimir was reminding me of this the other day.

          1. Seriously? Your life is so pathetic that your comment is the highlight of your day?
            Grow up.

            I’ll give you a free clue. Black Marketers would sell Levis that cost $5.95 here in the US for hundreds in Russia. Sorry, The Soviet Union.

            Grow up. I appreciate the blow jobs but you don’t have to do it. I’m not your pimp.

            1. Nah bro, when I’m bored of counting my billions, I come to stick a stick in yo’ arrogant a$$.

              You see, as a former black marketing manager who was in charge of meeting famous people and being on TV while giving advice to Steve Jobs about some general magic, I know arsoles when I see them.

              So I make it my business to tell people to get off my Internet lawn because I know stuff. I know people. When it comes to Steve Jobs, I even know dead people.

              I was only telling Reagan this the other day, and I said to him Ronnie, I said Ron, I said R, I said Don’s crazier than you!

              He agreed. Tim wanted to know what Vlad thought about Jeebus on a stick.

              I told them all to stick it – I was getting stick and tired of this sh!t. jeebus!

        1. Yes, it’s true, i AM a hungry cynic. I have had my spleen, liver, kidney, sekshual organs, heart and brain replaced thanks to the wonders of modern transplantation.

          It’s what makes me, me. It’s why I am the way I am. The new me, anyway. Always hungry, staying foolish.

  1. Pulling out of Russia would suck for the Russian people. But Apple simply can not compromise their own tech for foreign sovereignties. Of course if it was China’s demands they would’ve already been met, if they haven’t been quietly already. Sorry Russia. Be a bigger market and you’ll have more influence over Apple. No matter what you do to your people.

    1. Tim Cook just said recently (on ABC news I think) that Chinas demands on them have been less onerous than that of the USA on most issues. He specifically mentioned he didn’t get the difficult demands the FBI put Apple through.

      Tim Cook ABCnews :

      “Cook said he isn’t concerned over Apple’s relationship with China.

      “China really hasn’t pressured us, and so I I don’t envision that,” he added
      “Cook said they have never been asked in China by authorities to unlock an iPhone, but added, referring to the U.S., “I have here.”

      ()

      As for the Hong Kong app, like I mentioned before protestors from peaceful had been taken over by violent anarchists who were burning shops , stabbing and burning citizens who were pro China (imagine Democrats burning down Rupublican businesses because they support Trump ! ) , attacking people using ‘government services’ like the public bus and MRT !
      I even saw a video sent by friends who were in Hong Kong of a dude bashed senseless because he was trying to clear trash left over from protests.

      Apple was right for public safety to remove the app that was tracking police. (One off duty policeman was set on fire by petrol bombs after a mob attacked him and he fired his gun)

      Note TWO have been killed in Hong Kong protests, ONE killed by protestors and one falling from a bridge. Number killed by police is ZERO.

      NUMBER OF IRAQI PROTESTORS KILLED SINCE OCTOBER (a shorter time frame than the Hong Kong protests) IS 400! Many killed by Iraqi security forces backed by USA.

      BE CLEAR, I support Democracy and Freedom of Choice but:
      This whole China hate thing is overblown. And possibly racists.

      The ARE problems like IP theft and IP sharing requirements for joint ventures with China companies but this whole Apple should sell nothing in China and pull out often put forth here in MDN forums is too overblown ‘nuclear option’.
      (btw Chinese IP theft is being dealt with somewhat because CHINESE businesses are complaining other chinese business are stealing their stuff ! Laws are much more stringent now than a few years back. China is learning )
      Let the USA and other governments like E.U, Japan etc negotiate the IP sharing stuff.

      People say ‘Go to India’, before repeating that go read what India is doing in Kashmir in the latest New Yorker etc. India has acted with more savagery in India against the Kashmirians and surrounding areas that China ever has with the Uighurs. And the caste system often still unofficially enforced there (wrong caste: no job) etc.
      There are also IP sharing requirements there and state controlled businesses and tariffs.
      No I’m NOT saying India is ‘evil’, I’m pointing out EVERY PLACE has issues.
      (Note I’ve had many Indian friends — Hindus, Muslims,Sikhs and Buddhists and have visited their houses and attended Deepavali, Ramadan festivals with them etc)

      The Russian requirements is a whole different cattle of fish as it affects and compromises every Apple device and Apple DIRECTLY.

      1. “…whole different cattle of fish…” Sorry, but I disagree with some of your assumptions and premises beginning with this quote. The word should be kettle, not cattle. Makes me wonder about your veracity and origins as well as your intentions.

        As did Hitler with the fake attacks by his thugs on peaceful people with contrary opinions and then claiming that the Russian Communists had done it; I suspect that the violent “protesters” in Hong Kong were Chinese troops and agents planted there to “justify” the heavy-handed response by the stooge authorities. And to refute one of your other points, numerous problematic civilians have been “disappeared” in China as well as this country and other locations—not to mention those who decided that jumping from a tall building with assistance from unknown secret police was preferable to continuing their lives facing whatever threats put to them or their families. In short, a few of your points seem factual, the rest appear to be well-crafted talking points from Xi’s underlings who wield great power when authorized to improve things.

        1. GWOSH! Picking on typo due to lack of better argument.

          AND since you want to start the issue on planted agents…

          many believed (I read a lot of news from foreign sources plus I have friends in Asia who have links to Hong Kong. ) that it is not China but the USA who planted agents among the protestors to provoke the police! This to embarrass China.

          (Asia news reports from Japan, Malaysia, Singapore — i was just there in those countries — point out MANY similar schemes have been carried out by CIA over the years in South America, Middle East and Asia.

          Go Goggle CIA setting up civil disobedience. Example the case of Iran’s Mossaddegh where the CIA hatched up a plot to dispose him and paid protestors etc to cause civil disobedience)

          “Wikipedia:

          (Iranian) coup is at times referred to in the West as Operation Ajax[8] after its CIA cryptonym, in Iran it is referred to as the 28 Mordad 1332 Coup d’état, after its date on the Iranian calendar.[9] Mosaddegh was imprisoned for three years, then put under house arrest until his death and was buried in his own home so as to prevent a political furor.[10][11][12] In 2013, the U.S. government formally acknowledged the U.S. role in the coup, as a part of its foreign policy initiatives.[13]”

          Similar schemes carried out by USA in Nicaragua, Chile etc

          Note Hong Kong protestors have been throwing firebombs,rocks, bottles shooting arrows, catapults etc at police for months. Seriously injuring many police yet police has not killed anybody. The idea that China would set up such embarrassing protests AGAINST China is NUTS.

          BTW i lived in New York and near Detroit. i doubt if the NYPD would have that kind of restraint if people threw rocks and shot arrows at them.

          I’m not anti or pro China anti USA or anything but citizen started the ‘plant agent’ stuff.

          1. CITIZEN since you brought up planted agent can of worms:

            ASIA TIMES quoting New York Times and others:

            “In the document, Issue II deals with “funded, sponsored and provided supplies to any organizations, groups, companies, political parties or individuals” and “trained and frontline protesters, students and dissidents.”

            Predictably, the US National Endowment for Democracy is listed in the documentation: its largest 2018 grants were directed to China, slightly ahead of Russia.

            The NED was founded in 1983 after serial covert CIA ops across the Global South had been exposed

            In some respects, the program resembles the aid given by the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s to bolster pro-American political groups. But that aid was clandestine and, subsequent Congressional investigations found, often used planted newspaper articles and other forms of intentionally misleading information. The current financing is largely public – despite some recipients’ wish to keep some activities secret – and appears to be given with the objective of shoring up political pluralism, broader than the CIA’s goals of fostering pro-Americanism.

            Soft power at work

            So it’s no secret, all across the Global South, that under the cover of a benign umbrella promoting democracy and human rights, the NED works as a soft-power mechanism actively interfering in politics and society. Recent examples include Ukraine, Venezuela and Nicaragua. In many cases, that is conducive to regime change.

            The NED’s board of directors includes Elliott Abrams, who was instrumental in financing and weaponizing the Contras in Nicaragua, and Victoria Nuland, who supervised the financing and weaponizing of militias in Ukraine that some but not all experts have described as neo-fascist.

            The NED offers grants via various branches. One of them is the National Democratic Institute, which has been active in Hong Kong since the 1997 handover”

  2. Apple will continue to lose more market share percentage as Android smartphones take over iPhone market share in Russia. Android smartphone manufacturers won’t care what Russia is demanding as long as they can sell more smartphones. Russian iPhone market share probably doesn’t amount to much. 2%-3% market share, tops. Unfortunately, for Apple there are no more places to make up for lost market share. Apple will be the only loser as most companies don’t have any problem with loading bloatware on their devices.

    I now see it will be quite easy for any country to make Apple products disappear from their market, leaving market space for domestic brands and other companies who will quickly give in to that country’s demands. I had no idea Apple’s product sales were at such high risk from a foreign country’s policies. I can see why big investors would rather steer clear of Apple and deal with companies with most of their business in the U.S. market. This is really an eye-opener for me.

    1. Why not look at it from the opposite perspective ? It can further enhance Apple’s image as a privacy protector and thus further differentiate them from other less worthy products ? It could well result in more sales to Apple globally as Android users flee the less secure systems and products.

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