Impact Of Western Sanctions, China's Mobile Market Share In Russia Increases By More Than 70%
Xiaomi is experiencing an increase in sales in Russia. (photo: dock. pexels)

JAKARTA - In the first quarter of 2023, Chinese-made phones have infiltrated more than 70% of the Russian market, an increase from about 50% last year. This is known according to a report by consumer electronics firm M.Video-Eldorado.

The increase in Chinese-made phones came after Samsung and Apple both limited sales in Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine, so Chinese, Xiaomi and Realme manufacturers now occupy the top two positions of the market.

Moscow is increasingly dependent on Beijing, by increasing its use of yuan, increasing its energy supply to China, and starting to sell more Chinese brand cars in line with Western automotive companies leaving Russia.

Apple and Samsung are now down to third and fourth positions, from first and third in 2022, according to Russia's leading electronics retailer M.Video.

"Demands for brands from China in terms of numbers increased 42% compared to last year, and their total share reached more than 70%," added M.Video in a statement on Monday, April 17 quoted by Reuters.

Russia is trying to break away from Western technology and the Kremlin is asking officials involved in preparations for the 2024 presidential election to stop using Apple's iPhone for fear that the device is vulnerable to Western intelligence agencies, Kommersant newspaper reported last month.

The Kremlin has also allowed Russian companies to import multiple products, including smartphones, without license holders' licenses in parallel imports.

According to analysts, most devices were imported from China, but the Vedomosti newspaper in February cited GS Group research saying parallel imports had helped increase iPhone imports from India to double compared to the previous year.

Last year, M.Video and cellular operator MTS started selling used smartphones and discounts, offering cheaper alternatives to Russian consumers as Western sanctions contributed to economic contraction and wage reduction. M.Video notes that demand for smartphones is recovering in the first quarter of this year.

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