Chinese smartphone sales double in Russia amid global tech boycotts

Posted on : 2022-03-21 16:41 KST Modified on : 2022-03-21 16:41 KST
Over 300 global companies including Apple, McDonald’s, Tesla and Intel have issued boycotts of their own against Russia
A man uses a cell phone in Moscow, Russia, on March 16. (TASS/Yonhap News)
A man uses a cell phone in Moscow, Russia, on March 16. (TASS/Yonhap News)

Sales of Chinese smartphones have doubled in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to the Russian newspaper Kommersant on Sunday, the sales of Chinese smartphones from companies like Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo from Feb. 28 to March 13 doubled compared to the two-week period prior. Huawei smartphones saw the most increase in sales at 300%, while OPPO and Vivo smartphones sold by 200% more. ZTE smartphone sales grew by 100%, while Realme smartphones saw a sales jump of 80%.

Chinese smartphones enjoyed increased sales in Russia thanks to Samsung Electronics and Apple, whose smartphone market share in Russia amounted to 30% and 15%, respectively, halting supplies to the country following its invasion of Ukraine.

Apple officially announced early this month that it will suspend sales of its products in Russia in a boycott, while Samsung Electronics also suspended product shipments to the country, though the move was not framed as an official boycott. After the two companies, which account for almost half of the smartphone market in Russia, ceased supplies of their products in the country, the prices of both companies’ products rose, which has allowed Chinese brands to reap the benefits of an undersaturated market.

Following the announcement of economic sanctions against Russia by the US and the European Union, over 300 global companies including Apple, McDonald’s, Tesla and Intel have followed suit and issued boycotts of their own against Russia. South Korean companies such as Samsung, LG, and Hyundai and Kia Motors have yet to announce an official boycott against Russia.

Tensions are rising between the US and China concerning anti-Russian sanctions. The US is wary of the possibility that China, as the biggest importer of Russian goods, will act as a buffer amid intense economic sanctions against Russia. Meanwhile, China has made clear that it will not join in on the anti-Russian economic sanctions led by the US, as ties with Russia are China’s most important strategic asset.

The White House stated on Friday after a video call between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping that Biden “made clear the implication and consequences of China providing material support [. . .] to Russia as it prosecutes its brutal war in Ukraine,” directly making known that it expressed its opposition of Chinese support of Russia in its war effort. Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Xi said during the video call that “sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions would only make the people suffer.”

By Choi Hyun-june, staff reporter

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